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Fans can’t fight for Costa, says Bascome

Hard yards: Bascome heads to a training camp in Orlando today

Nikki Bascome took a jab at opponent Fabio Costa on the eve of his departure for a training camp in Orlando, Florida, today.

In a recent interview, Portuguese Costa told The Royal Gazette he is confident of “raising the Portuguese flag proud in victory” and “making the Portuguese community proud in Bermuda”.

Bascome hit back, though, emphasising that although he expects a portion of the island’s Portuguese community to get behind Costa, they “can’t fight for him”.

Bascome said: “I’m going in there to fight for me first and all of his fans can’t fight for him.

“I’m not going in there to work on the crowd or get caught up in the hype. I’m simply focused on the task at hand, and that’s to win.

“I know that Bermuda is behind me and I’m very proud of where I’ve come from. No matter where I’m fighting, or who I’m fighting, I look to do my best every time — 100 per cent. But fighting at home is definitely an added incentive to do even better.”

The unbeaten pair are scheduled to meet in a six-round bout on November 11 at the Fairmont Southampton, with Bascome determined to finish his “breakout year” on a high.

“I’m looking forward to November 11 and putting on a sharp performance from an improved Nikki and more developed Nikki and finishing the year off strong with a win,” Bascome said.

Bascome has yet to be beaten in seven professional bouts, which include three knockouts, and is also high on confidence having overcome gruelling back-to-back wins over experienced Guyanese southpaw Iwan Azore and heavy-hitting Mexican David Rangel in his previous two matches.

Costa is also yet to taste defeat in five bouts and will drop down a weight to 147lbs to meet Bascome at welterweight.

Bascome, who fights out of trainer Allan “Forty” Rego’s gym, has run the rule over his opponent and devised a strategy to neutralise the threat.

“Rego and I have a game plan that we will keep tuning in on how we are going to fight him,” Bascome added.

“My preparations are going great and I’m looking forward to going away to get the sparring I need — sparring with guys that are on the same level or even better than me — to keep me sharp and in tune.”

Bascome is scheduled to return home on the eve of his fight with Costa.