CHRIS Burton today declared he is “ready to go to war” as he prepares for the first contest in his biggest year.
Burton is ready to step back into the ring and “fight in the trenches” when he takes on Birtley’s Jon-Lewis Dickinson on February 25, at Aberdeen’s Exhibition Centre.
Burton, 30, last took on Hastings Rasani in September last year, but is prepared to go back between the ropes after coming down from the heavyweight division to cruiserweight.
“I feel better than ever now and this year I am going to walk through people,” Burton said. “I am hungry for that British title and I want to win it.
“There is no stopping me from going and getting what I want because I am stronger, faster and more determined than ever.”
Burton has already taken part in 16 contests in his professional career at heavyweight, but decided to step down a division.
The Neil Fannan-trained man has found it “tougher than he first thought”, but is delighted everything is falling into place.
He added: “It has been hard, with the diet and all the training.
“I feel so much better and more determined to make this year a big one.
“I now understand that when it comes to making the weight at this level, you have to be careful with everything that goes into it.
“We have a target and I am on course to meet it, which is motivating me even more to make a good impression.”
He added: “I believe cruiserweight is by far my best weight and coming down from being heavier naturally makes me feel stronger.
“I won’t be taking this lightly at all so hopefully I can make a positive move and be in line for a British title.”
He will be taking on a Prizefighter champion in Dickinson, who defeated gym-mate David Dolan at the Stadium of Light in July.
However, Burton is not fazed by the task in hand.
He added: “Neil has drilled confidence into me and we are ready for whatever Dickinson has to offer.
“I’m ready to show what I am made of and I can’t wait for it to come round.
“If I didn’t think I could win this fight then I wouldn’t have accepted it, so I am confident I can go out and get a win.”
Burton’s opponent Dickinson proved his power punching attributes in the Prizefighter competition back in 2010, but has suffered two defeats since, against Tyrone Wright and Richard Turba.
However, he bounced back at the Stadium of Light last July.
Burton knows how much it would mean to defeat the 25-year-old and is out to set the record straight.
He added: “It was a difficult fight when Dave fought him last year, but I know I can beat him.”
Training with Fannan in his Brierton gym has provided the surrounding that “makes champions”.
As Michael Hunter prepares for his comeback in the same gym as Burton, he says it has had a knock-on effect on everyone.
He added: “Michael is fantastic to have around. He brings a lot to the gym because of what he has achieved in his career.
“Yes, he is a comedian and likes to have a laugh, but when it comes to being serious and training hard, he is one of the best I have seen.
“Neil has had a big influence on me as well.”