A FOCUS on making "every punch count" will be at the forefront of Wade Ryan's mind when he defends his Oceanic-Pacific Australia Boxing middleweight championship on Saturday night.
The Gunnedah local will be the main event of a card in Melbourne against Eamon Carlos and the fight will mark his first title defence.
Ryan told the Namoi Valley Independent he had been working tirelessly to prepare for Saturday's fight.
"He [Carlos] is going to be a big challenge, that's for sure," Ryan said.
"From what my coach Spike [David Syphers] has told me, Carlos is a pretty tall fighter for a middleweight, so we will have to do things a bit differently."
Sparring has been a feature of Ryan's pre-fight preparation, even travelling as far as Dubbo and Newcastle to find sparring partners.
"We have been really looking to build up the power of my punches heading into this fight," Ryan said.
"That's why we have been travelling around to work with Robert Toomey and spar with some of the people he has set up for us."
As well as sparring, Ryan said he had been working on sharpening his footwork and fitness.
"Given that he is taller for a middleweight it's important for me to make every punch count and be sharp," he said.
"It will also be really important for me to have good footwork so I can avoid his reach, stay out of his range and steer clear of the punches he will throw at me.
"That's where I'm hoping all of the sparring work will pay off. I've been doing a lot of leg work and cardio work and while it's been a tough preparation, I'm feeling really good about the fight."
Ryan was set to fight on the same card as fellow Black n Blue Boxing member Albert Nolan.
However, Nolan was a late withdrawal from his fight due to an ankle injury.
"Honestly mate, everyone at the gym has been so supportive," Ryan said.
"The preparation has virtually been a whole-club effort and I am really grateful for the support.
"From the coaches and trainers, to our sponsors, everyone has been right behind me and it is really great."
Ryan's fight will be live-streamed at the Court House Hotel from 6pm on Saturday night.