Oliver: Bascome will feel my power
Ryan Oliver believes he has the punching power to claim a stoppage victory when he meets Nikki Bascome in the main event at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday night.
Oliver wants to take the decision out of the judges' hands and is confident he has the perfect strategy to inflict a second career defeat upon the home-town favourite.
Although the Englishman expects Bascome's ring craft to be superior to any opponent he has previously faced, he feels he will simply be too big and strong for the Bermudian.
“I know I punch very hard,” Oliver said during a media workout at Aries Sports Centre yesterday.
“People who have sparred me can vouch for that. I think I can stop him, but I think he can stop me.
“I do believe you can win so convincingly on points that they can't give it the other way. However, you naturally have to think you'll need a stoppage [when fighting] away from home. I can do that as well.
“I hope the Bermuda boxing people and the commission give me a fair shout and, if it goes the distance and I win the fight, then I should be given the decision.”
The affable 25-year-old said he has worked extensively in the gym with his coach Haroon Headley on setting traps for Bascome after his team studied footage of his opponent's fights on YouTube.
“Nikki is very good and slick, and I think he'll be very evasive,” said Oliver, who has never previously fought outside of Greater Manchester and has one blemish on his eight-bout record.
“He will be the first opponent I've faced at that level and I think Nikki will bring the best out in me and I'll bring the best out in Nikki.
“I reckon he can probably dig a little bit from what I've heard. He's going to be a bit crafty, he's experienced, and he's had a few more fights than me as an amateur and as a pro.
“However, I've trained hard enough and smart enough to be able to do the job. I think I'll be a bit better than him.”
Both fighters came face to face for the first time during an impromptu encounter at Cafe 4 in Windsor Place, the pair exchanging a brief embrace, before heading to the media workout, where they were allocated different time slots.
With Bascome already stating he has little interest in exchanging verbal barbs with Oliver during the build-up to the contest, Oliver, too, insists he intends to let his fists do the talking inside of the ring.
“I saw Nikki say that he wasn't going to get involved in any trash talk — well, there's not going to be any from me,” Oliver said. “I'm just not that sort of person.
“I bumped into Nikki down there [Cafe 4] and gave him a hug and said, ‘good luck'. He's got kids, I've got a daughter; it's just a job is this, it's a sport. I'd never wish bad on anyone.
“I hope we both come out of the ring safely, have a cuddle, and go back to our families.”
Since arriving on the island on Sunday night, Oliver said he has been blown away by the warm reception he has received and the natural beauty of the island.
“I just can't get over how nice the people are,” said Oliver, who will meet Bascome at a catchweight of 144 pounds. “I can't say a bad thing about the place.
“I've done a bit of light training and a bit of padwork on the beach. You don't get that back home!
“I've seen a little a bit of the area around the Fairmont [Southampton] where we're staying. We've been to Horseshoe Bay; it's beautiful.”
“It's been so much nicer than doing a fight week back home. I'm missing my daughter, but not much else!”
He might not have known too much about Bermuda before Sunday, however, Oliver, a diehard Manchester City supporter, grew up worshipping Shaun Goater and spoke to the Bermuda legend prior to making the trip.
“I'm a massive City fan and I'm not just saying this because I'm in Bermuda, but Shaun Goater was my favourite player as a kid,” he added.
“I've had the pleasure of meeting him and he's chatted with me and wished me luck. He was contemplating come over [to watch the fight], but he's a busy man and he couldn't manage it. He's wished me all the best.”