Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye has predicted he will knock out George Groves in their European super-middleweight title showdown at Wembley Arena on 16 March – and insisted he would have beaten James DeGale.
Ndiaye, born in Senegal but based in Italy, was due to face Groves’ arch-rival and fellow West Londoner DeGale, who recently opted to relinquish the belt.
It means unbeaten Commonwealth champion Groves and his 33-year-old opponent will fight for the vacant EBU crown.
The Hammersmith man is also eyeing a shot at the winner of next month’s world title clash between Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz.
But Ndiaye said: “I hear that Groves is looking past me at a world title next against Abraham or Stieglitz.
“He is wrong and this is being disrespectful to me, but he will find out on 16 March.
“I’ve never been stopped and he says he can knock me out, but it will be the opposite – I will knock him out.
“I want to be the world champion so I have to beat Groves to achieve that.”
And Ndiaye claimed he did not see anything in Groves’ commanding performance against former world champion Glen Johnson last December to be concerned about.
“I wasn’t impressed with Groves’ win over Glen Johnson and I saw nothing there to really worry me,” he said.
“Johnson was an old man. I’m in my prime and will give him a real fight. I’m motivated to be the first to beat Groves and realise my dream and get a world title shot.”
Ndiaye added: “I really wanted to fight DeGale because he’s an Olympic champion.
“But he and his team postponed the fight with me one time, and he vacated the title the second time after he signed the contract, because he was scared.
“Groves beat DeGale but every fight is different. What I know is that I would have beaten DeGale in front of his fans.”
Groves v Ndiaye is chief support on a card joint-headlined by WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns’ unification showdown against IBF champion Miguel Vazquez, and WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly’s defence against Robin Krasniqi.
West Londoners Steve O’Meara, Gary Corcoran and Mitchell Smith are also due to feature on the bill.
It will be screened on BoxNation (Sky channel 437/Virgin channel 546). Join at www.boxnation.com