DEION JUMAH’S professional career has never been easy. The unbeaten cruiserweight and former ABA champion has had health scares to contend with and faced a battle to place himself on the map in the domestic British boxing scene. That campaign continues this weekend. The Londoner travels to Wythenshawe to take on Sam Hyde for the English title this Sunday (January 19), on a bill promoted by Hyde’s trainer and manager Joe Gallagher.

“I won the purse bids as his manager and promoter for the fight to give him [Hyde] them little bit of advantages that could mean so much on fight night. We haven’t had to go down to London this week, we haven’t been at York Hall this week. Sam Hyde’s last fight was here, so he’s familiar with the situation and it’s all them little things that can be huge things come fight night,” Gallagher told Boxing News. “Sam’s trained well, he’s had good sparring and it’s time to step up and I think he’s full of confidence knowing that when he has stepped up before, against [Richard] Riakporhe, he performed well and was winning on the scorecards. He’s got the bit between his teeth.”

Gallagher however still talks up Jumah’s prospects. “Very talented, very loose, good shot selection, good punch-picker,” Joe said. “You watch him against Camacho and he’s still got his boxing ability, but he’s developed his power now as well. That was a good win for him against Wadi Camacho… It’s not a surprise he goes into this fight a huge favourite and Sam a huge underdog.”

While Hyde might enjoy all the advantages of the home fighter, Jumah has a simple plan to counteract that. He wants to knock Hyde out. “I’m going for the stoppage, that’s what I think about all that. I have to be intelligent about it, the way I go about things, not get caught too much, keep the pace nice and high. Show him I’m better than him, show him I’m the superior boxer early and knowing him this will force him to press on, press on the pace, force him to make mistakes and that’s when I’m going to capitalise,” Deion told Boxing News. “A lot of people say they don’t go for the stoppage, I’m always looking for the knockout. That’s just me. If I didn’t get it before, that’s because I couldn’t get it. I’m always looking for the stoppage.”

Deion Jumah vs Sam Hyde
Sam Hyde with trainer Joe Gallagher Action Images/Adam Holt

Jumah has been focused on the task at hand. “We’ve had a hard camp, one of the hardest. We wanted it like that, we knew it was going to be like that. Because we’ve got a hard man in front of us, but we’re prepared and we’re ready for the 19th,” he said. “I think he [Hyde] is someone who sees himself as a bit of a tough man and I think he’s going to depend on that he’s tougher than his opponent. It’ll be interesting what happens when he sees someone just as tough as he is and with a greater skillset. I’ve got my tests, I’m going away from home, fighting a tough man but he’s got his tests as well in this fight.”

This is a final eliminator for the British cruiserweight title. Both fighters have their eye on challenging reigning champion Richard Riakporhe. “That is the goal. I know how Riakporhe works, I’ve seen him fight and the only thing I’m impressed with about Riakporhe is his punch power and nothing else,” Jumah said. “A lot of areas he’s lacking confidence in his fighting ability, mainly I think in his conditioning. Also his boxing, generally he needs to be hurting you to feel like the fight is going well. If he’s not hurting you, his confidence dwindles.

“This is a final British title eliminator. So when I win this, Riakporhe next.”

“This is my biggest fight to date,” Deion concludes. “I think it’s a big fight anyway. If you’re a fan of the cruiserweight scene, this is a wicked fight.”

Read our fight prediction here