1. ITV Report

Sam Sexton: British heavyweight champion ready for career-defining fight against Hughie Fury

Reigning British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton insists he's never felt in better shape as he prepares to defend his title for the first time on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old from Norwich puts his belt on the line against the cousin of Tyson Fury, Hughie Fury, in a crunch clash at the Macron Stadium in Bolton.

The bout will be the first heavyweight title fight to be shown live on terrestrial TV in seven years.

Despite being the champion, Sexton is seen as the big outsider by the bookmakers, but he says he's ready and willing to meet the challenge head on.

  • Watch an extended interview with Sam Sexton

"It's (the belt) is going to come back with me," Sexton told ITV News Anglia.

"I'm 33-years-old, nearly 34, and a loss for me now means retirement. I don't want to keep going on and being a journeyman so every training camp now I put in 100% and it's full on."

In Fury, Sexton will face an opponent with a formidable record.

The 23-year-old has only lost one professional fight, to New Zealand's Joseph Parker, and has registered knockout victories in half of his wins.

Hughie Fury is desperate to get his hands on the belt. Credit: PA

However, much of the build-up to the fight has been largely respectful, with Hughie not resorting to the same mind games as his more eccentric cousin Tyson.

"He's the complete opposite to be fair (to Tyson)," Sexton said.

"He's very respectful. Him and his trainer, his dad Peter Fury, are very respectful and they're the same as me I'd say - two gentlemen in the ring fighting and we're just going to see who's going to win on the night."

Christoph Zimmermann took part in some sparring. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In the lead-up to the bout, Sexton was given some support from other stars of the Norfolk sporting scene, with Norwich City players Christoph Zimmermann, Onel Hernández and Louis Thompson dropping into a training session to have a go at some sparring and pass on their best wishes.

"He's just so massive and so strong," said Zimmermann.

"I think there's a reason why he's the British champion so I better not fight him!"