Cameroon-born Australian Sakio Bika tries to claim his first major world title Saturday when he faces unbeaten Mexican Marco Antonio Periban for the vacant World Boxing Council super middleweight crown.
The 34-year-old Aussie, nicknamed "The Scorpion", carries a record of 31-5 with two drawn and 21 knockouts into the bout with Periban, who is 20-0 with 13 knockouts, for the vacant title.
"We're working to get better every single day," Bika said. "We're just improving. We're training and working on my footwork."
Bika knew little about his rival, six years his junior, before the bout was made.
"He's big with a good record, so I had to check him out," Bika said. "I will fight anybody. I always like to fight a new opponent. I will take him on and show the world I'm the best."
Periban says his superior speed will be a deciding factor.
"I've been training for two and a half months and it was my hardest training camp ever, so I'm definitely ready," he said. "Movement is the main key for me along with my jab and fighting at a distance. I feel I'm faster than he is."
The WBC stripped the title from Andre Ward earlier this year, saying the unbeaten American had not fought a mandatory challenger within the required time frame nor provided evidence to support his claim of a shoulder injury that had required surgery.
The governing body declared that the Bika-Periban winner would take the vacant crown.
It will be the first world title fight for Periban while Bika has stumbled in prior global championship bouts.
Bika's first world title fight was a 2006 technical draw with Markus Beyer for the WBC super middleweight throne that was stopped after four rounds due to a cut under the German's right eye from an accidental headbutt.
Later the same year, Bika lost a unanimous decision to Welshman Joe Calzaghe for the International Boxing Federation super middleweight crown.
In 2010, Bika lost a unanimous decision to Ward for the World Boxing Association version of the title.