Alnwick boxer Cyrus Pattinson admits he bursts with pride every time he pulls on the British Lionhearts colours and is ready to fight anyone who is put in front of him.
The 22-year-old welterweight, who fights out of Birtley, was part of the British Lionhearts team which defeated France Fighting Roosters in Paris on February 23, despite losing his contest against Souleymane Cissokho.
And while he is not included in the team that will welcome Morroca Atlas Lions to London’s iconic York Hall on Wednesday, Pattinson is in contention to face Italia Thunder on March 23 – the team the British Lionhearts lost to in their World Series opener last month.
Pattinson, who won gold at the British Championships in Sheffield in 2015, insists he is ready to face off against any fighter and believes channelling previous disappointments has made him a stronger competitor.
“I feel 100 per cent, I’m here to fight anybody,” he said.
“We train hard so it’s all about getting there, performing and beating people I know I can beat.
“When we’re preparing for the five-rounders for the British Lionhearts, it’s pretty flat out. We spar in six-rounders, do more interval stuff on the track and do more circuits so it’s just about peaking at the right time.
“If you come back and try to get ready for another fight straight away, then you just burn out so you’ve just got to peak when you can.
“It’s been difficult for me, but I’ve learned a lot from the British Lionhearts. Last year I fought the USA Knockouts on my debut, I took the fight at five days’ notice, but learned a lot.
“I fought in Mexico and lost a split decision, which I thought I won, and then had that Paris experience of fighting the Olympic bronze medallist so I’ve learned a lot, but they’re the things that make you better.”
The Lionhearts’ next series of clashes in Group B of the World Series is against Morocco Atlas Lions on March 8 at the renowned York Hall in London.
And Pattinson has urged fans to sample the delights of the famous hall.
He says the feeling of fighting in the name of the Lionhearts is unparalleled.
“I definitely like the big show, it’s your time to shine when you come out for the British Lionhearts,” he said.
“Everyone’s eyes are on you, it’s about you and the fight is in the public eye.
“I love the feeling of pulling on the Lionhearts’ kit and representing your country. You can’t describe it – it’s the same as pulling on the Great Britain vest, I love it.
“I went to York Hall in 2011 for the first time. It was just amazing and I never, ever, thought I would be at that stage and surpassing it, it’s always had that magical thing for me.
“Buy your tickets, you’ll not be disappointed. It’s a great night, come along with your friends.
“If you love boxing, you’ll love it.”
See the British Lionhearts in action in London, March/April 2017. Tickets are £20 at sky.com/tickets