Michael Conlan says his fight with Karim Guerfi is a “banana peel” but predicts he will knock out the French fighter in the SSE on Saturday.
Victory would put the Belfast fighter on course for another world title, but he knows he must overcome five-time European champion Guerfi.
Conlan, 31, lost his first world title attempt to Leigh Wood in March.
“I believe I’m going to put in a dominating performance and I’m going to knock out Karim Guerfi,” Conlan said.
After a dramatic final round loss to Wood, in which he fell out of the ring, Conlan bounced back in August with a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Marriaga.
Victory over Guerfi would be another step in the right direction as Conlan is aiming for a world title and he feels he is “starting to peak at the right time” for Saturday’s contest.
Conlan added he knows Guerfi, 35, whose record stands at 31-6, is set to ‘provoke anger’ and has already declared Wood’s loss, the first of his professional career, gave him extra motivation.
“Everyone in front of me wants to come and win and Karim is no different,” he continued.
“Over the last few spars and sessions of camp, I’ve hit the best numbers I’ve gotten, so I think I’ve done it perfectly.
“A loss for me now, no matter who it is against, it’s bad, so I just have to keep winning. Especially if I want to fight for world titles again, I have to knock out guys like Karim.
“It’s what is expected of me, it’s what I have to do and I believe I will do it.
“March, St. Patrick’s Day in Belfast, New York or anywhere. We’ll be looking to fight for a world title in March, but I’m not neglecting Karim Guerfi in any way. If I don’t beat him, then all of this left.”
Coach Adam Booth said there had been “steady improvement” in Conlan in his bid to win another world title fight.
“Since his world title fight and his last fight, there has been progression again,” he added.
“He’s not done evolving as a fighter and improving his game. What he needs is experienced and capable competition, which comes with desire.
“We know Karim brings the test that is going to bring out the elements of Mick, which we know are world class.”