Leeds boxer Jack Bateson feeling less pressure as he continues journey to the top
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The 17-0 super bantamweight from Leeds has won the English and WBA inter-continental titles in the last 12 months and in November faces Shabaz Masoud in a British title eliminator at the Sheffield Arena.
The big stage is nothing new to Bateson, who has stepped through the ropes at the Leeds Arena on numerous occasions and was on the undercard the night Josh Warrington defeated Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight crown at Elland Road.
Having served his boxing apprenticeship with his unbeaten record intact, Bateson is ready for the big fights to come his way as he eyes the British title next year before looking further afield to European and world belts.
"I am 17-0 now and my Dad, who is my coach, has taken me down the right path," said the 28-year-old from Leeds.
"I have had a lot of learning fights on big cards like Selby v Warrington. I am at that level now where I have won titles and I am ready for big fights.
"I have done the 10-rounders, it has all gone to plan and I am ready for that step-up."
He continued: "I feel as though the bigger the fight, the less pressure there is.
"It goes from being expected to win, to it becoming more of a 50/50.
"There is no pressure on me. I put pressure on myself because I want to do well and I want to achieve.
"When the final bell rings I know I will have given it my all through training and in the fight.
"In the next 12 months I would love to be the British champion. This next fight is my world title fight. It is about one fight at a time."
Bateson is currently ranked 13th with the WBA while Masoud is one spot behind him. Victory in Sheffield next month, on the undercard of Sunny Edwards vs Felix Alvarado for the IBF flyweight title, will thrust Bateson further towards the bigger belts.
He feels that Masoud, 26, who resides in Rochdale, will prove to be the toughest opponent of his professional career.
"In the pro game, I think he will be the best opponent I will have fought," he added.
"In my amateur career, I would have fought kids just as good if not better.
"He has never been in with anyone like me and I feel a lot of people are saying good things about him - but he hasn't been in with the sort of people I have been in with.
"I have got the experience and it counts for a lot. I am looking forward to proving what I can do and proving to people that I am the real deal."
Yorkshire’s Joe Garside, meanwhile, continued his unbeaten start in the professional ranks in Oldham last weekend. The 26-year-old from Halifax defeated the previously undefeated Adam Sircar via a unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Barnsley’s Callum Simpson won the super middleweight Central Area title with a knockout win over Ben Ridings. The victory extended his record to 10-0.