Former Sandygate ABC fighter Sam Larkin fully appreciates that there’s more to his next opponent than meets the eye.
While most will look at Edward Bjorklund’s professional record unfavourably, the 28-year-old super featherweight knows that those numbers aren’t quite so black and white.
The Swedish southpaw, who now resides in Lewisham, London, has been on the wrong end of a decision 24 times out of 26 contests.
That works out at a 92% loss rate inside the ring, but Larkin has sieved through the information on offer a bit more analytically.
What stands out for the Elite boxer is that his 39-year-old foe, nicknamed the ‘Rockstar’, has never been stopped in his career.
Larkin is confident ahead of the show at Colne Muni on August 31st, but he’s preparing to go the distance for a fourth time in succession.
“My next opponent looks alright,” said Larkin. “He’s a southpaw, but switches to orthodox. It’s going to be another tough fight.
“People tend to look at their records when they’re a journeyman, they look at how many they’ve lost.
“There’s more to it than that. I’ve been watching some of his fights, he’s been in with some top lads and he still hasn’t been put away.
“He’s been hit with some absolute corkers at a heavier weight and he still just keeps coming forward.”
Larkin, who fought to the final bell against Ricky Leach, Jamie Quinn and Luke Fash, getting the nod on two of those occasions, added: “We’ve been working on countering to the body again.
“I’m hoping a stoppage will come at some point because I’ve got the power to do it. Alex can’t believe how hard I’m hitting. I’m landing some thunderous shots.
“I always plan to go the distance. I nearly folded two of my opponents in half with body shots, but they are tough lads.
“Other lads would not be able to take those shots, but they’re eating them up every week.
“If it finishes before the four rounds then it’s a bonus, but it’s good for me to get the rounds in.
“I need to increase my experience and polish my ring craft. I’m well confident, I’ve been sparring some of the best prospects in the country.
“Fighting southpaw used to be an issue for me, but I’ve sparred that many of them now it’s nothing new.”
The former Park High School pupil, who had been out to Costa Adeje in Tenerife for some warm weather training with Jonny Rocco, has prepared well for this one.
Coach Alex Matvienko has thrown him in with a multitude of top class operators in sparring, including Sean McGoldrick, Premier Boxing’s Zohaib Mehrban, Liam Gaynor, Abdul Khan, Mikey Young and UFC star Pietro Menga.
“I’m full of beans and I’ve had some really tough sparring sessions since,” Larkin said.
“I’ve been putting some serious rounds in, I’ve been non-stop and going toe-to-toe with Haringey Box Cup champion Zohaib Mehrban. I’ve been in with Pietro Menga as well.
“He’s been with the UFC and Bellator, he’s top class, a world level fighter.
“He’s been coming in to help me out because he’s a southpaw. I’ve really been putting the effort in.”
Sam would like to thank Vivere Liberate, Steptoe’s Yard, M. Hughes Sports Massage Therapy, Intershape Fitness, J.O.G Building Services Ltd, PKB Building and Roofing, The Branding Iron Tattoo Studio, ShokWaves Barber Shop, The Asphalt Works and Norpol Recycling for their ongoing sponsorship and support.