Oliver: I don’t believe Bascome hype
Ryan Oliver insists his eight-round fight against Nikki Bascome will not go the distance and has vowed to burst the Bermudian's hype bubble.
The Englishman, who arrives on the island tomorrow, believes he has the punching power to stop Bascome when they meet in the main event at the Fairmont Southampton next Saturday.
Oliver warmed up for the bout with a points win over William Warburton in Altrincham, Manchester, last month and considers his match against Bascome, which will be contested at a catchweight of 144 pounds, to be a “50-50” fight.
“[Bascome] is trained by Jeff Mayweather, so obviously he's not going to be a mug,” Oliver told British Boxing Television. “We've got pretty similar records; I'm excited and looking forward to it. It's a 50-50 fight and I'm well confident.
“I'm less confident about even getting back [to England] and not getting lost in that Bermuda Triangle!”
Before facing Warburton, Oliver had not fought for more than a year because of a broken right hand, but believes he is punching as hard as ever.
“I genuinely believe that with how hard I'm punching, I just need to land the shots, not be silly, and I will stop him,” said Oliver, who has won seven of his eight welterweight fights. “There won't be any [hype surrounding Bascome] after this.”
Oliver admits he has avoided watching footage of his opponent and trusts Haroon Headley, his trainer and manager, to devise a perfect game plan.
“I watched [Bascome] for about a minute, but [then stopped],” Oliver said. “I just thought, ‘nah, I'm not bothered'.
“I'm not coming up with the tactics for the fight, am I? Haroon has watched him and I've just listened to him and done what he says.”
Headley, who previously worked with Jack Catterall, a former British super lightweight champion, believes that fighting overseas for the first time will serve as an important education for 25-year-old Oliver.
“It's a massive opportunity to go to Bermuda and fight Nikki Bascome, who is a local celebrity on the island,” Headley said. “It's a pay-per-view fight over there and they will sell out the arena. There's a lot of hype with him.
“We're going to go there and cause an upset and beat him. That will be massive for Ryan.
“It's about getting on that global platform again and getting a big opportunity for one of my fighters, who I've been nurturing through.
“We've had a good run with Ryan and hopefully he can go over there and gather that experience that you can't buy by fighting away from home.”
Headley revealed he has studied the video of Bascome's knockout defeat to Fábio Costa at the Fairmont Southampton in November 2017 and believes the Bermudian showed emotional weakness during that fight.
“I noticed when he got knocked out he got caught up an argument with the Portuguese kid in the weigh-in,” Headley added.
“If you look back and watch the way the Portuguese celebrated, I think there was a lot of needle for that fight.
“I think he got emotionally caught up with that and got took out. I'm sure his time with someone like Mayweather in that gym [in Las Vegas] has done him well.”