Newport boxer Jake Carr is primed and ready for his shot at the vacant World Boxing Association Oceania middleweight title.
Carr will take on fellow Melburnian Tej Pratap Singh over 10 rounds at the Melbourne Pavilion on Friday night for the right to lay claim to the belt.
“The preparation for this fight has been really good,” Carr said. “I started my training camp in Sydney, sparring with Bilal Akkawy, who is an Oceania super middleweight champion.
“That was a really good, strong way to start off my sparring preparation and it’s pretty much gone up since then.
“I’ll continue getting fitter and I’ll be very sharp leading into this fight.”
Carr is back to his mental and physical peak in boxing.
The 27-year-old admitted his mind was not in the game for about 18 months and he took time out of the ring following the tragic death of his dad Rod in 2016.
But Carr’s return to fighting last year was a successful one, contesting five professional bouts for five wins to take his career record to an impressive 16 wins, six by knockout and one loss.
“I went through a stage, probably for about a year and a half, where I was a fairly inactive,” Carr said. “I had the tragic passing of my dad, who was also in my corner and was one of my trainers.
“In 2017, I jumped back on the horse and since then it’s been really good.”
Carr returned to boxing for no reason other than he loves the fight game.
Since beginning training under Dave Hedgecock and Boxer John at Boxer’s Corp in Oakleigh, Carr has found a new lease of life.
“Boxing is the sort of sport where you have to want to do it,” Carr said. “I don’t do it because my dad loved the sport or because he was a former Australian champion or for any other reason than I love the sport.
“They’ve really taking me to new levels.
“I’ve been grateful for the work of those guys.”
Carr is expecting a hard battle against Singh, who has a record of nine wins and four losses in 13 bouts.
He respects the Singh camp and knows the quality of fighters that come out of their gym.
“I’ve seen him fight a few times and I know that he’s extremely fit and he’s extremely strong,” Carr said.
“It’s not going to be an easy fight at all.”
Carr, who attended local schools Williamstown primary and Williamstown high as a youngster, wants to launch into 2018 in style. This year is about taking giant strides towards a top-15 ranking.
“I really hope this is a big year for Team Carr,” he said.
“The Oceania title would be a very good title to have next to my name and it will help towards us being ranked in the top 15.”
It will be a big night of fights on the Brian Amatruda-promoted event at the Melbourne Pavilion. Blake Caparello will take on Isaac Chilemba for the WBA Oceania light heavyweight title and Michael Zerafa will contest Adam Harper for the vacant Commonwealth super welterweight title.