WHEN Jermaine Springer was asked what it is going to be like to fight at the Wembley Arena, the Bradford light-heavyweight responded in astonishment, "Is that where the fight will be? That is going to be quality. I was just happy to watch it on TV but now I am on it."

He had not seen the news Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had announced earlier in the week that Sky Sports' next four fight cards would be hosted at the iconic venue albeit without any fans present.

The second of those shows will feature Springer on November 14 as he aims to upset the odds and get a mega break in what has been a topsy-turvy career inside the squared circle.

There has been many a TV debut easier than this though. ABA champion and hot prospect Thomas Whittaker Hart (4-0, 2KOs) will be the man in the opposing corner on a bill which is headlined by Irish star Katie Taylor and uniquely features three women's world title fights.

However, Springer feels he will have an advantage on the night over the Tony Bellew-managed Liverpudlian and is keen to prove himself in front of the bright lights.

He said: "I really don’t know what to expect with it being behind closed doors. It will be strange for us both.

"I think it will suit me more than my opponent. He is used to being in the spotlight and having a lot of fans. I have fought on small hall shows.

"It is going to be a tough fight. He is a good fighter.

"I have shown what type of fighter I am by fighting my fourth unbeaten fighter in under 10 fights. I don’t think anybody else with a winning record can say that.

"I 100% believe in myself and I am going there to cause the upset.

"I can't leave anything in the ring and end up disappointed. I have to put on a good show and get the win."

The 32-year-old has been involved in and out of the sport for almost two decades, while forging a successful run as a semi-professional footballer.

With boxing running through the family though, it only seemed right that the former Thackley, Liversedge and Eccleshill United centre half excelled more whilst wearing a pair of gloves.

Starting out at the Barkerend-based Karmand Centre aged 13, Springer reached the National Schoolboy finals inside 12 months.

A seven-year gap would follow before he competitively climbed through the ropes again.

And what a return it was! Beating current British cruiserweight champion Richard Riakporhe to capture ABAE senior novice championships glory in 2012.

That was the peak of a 21-5 amateur career which Springer believes could have gone a lot better.

"I had so much talent which I didn’t realise I had and I let that go to waste," he admitted.

"I never really saw a future for myself in football, but I always thought I could do something in boxing from a young age.

"I don’t like to use the term regrets because there is still a chance to ratify it. But looking back, there are opportunities that I should have taken.

"There was so much going on in my life. I was working crazy hours and just fell out of love with the sport. That was the year (2013) that I should have went to the ABA elites.

"One week I worked nights, the next I would work days. It was hard to get my training in.

"If you don’t really want it that much, these type of reasons give you an excuse.

"If I could go back in the past, I would 100% pursue a boxing career from a young age.

"I got to a certain age and thought you have showed so much talent in the past, see if you can do something now, so that is what made me get into the professional side of boxing."

After turning over in 2018, Springer recorded five wins on the bounce before running into the heavy handed Boris Crighton last year.

'Showtime' was put down by a shot to the temple in the first round from the Scottish banger and he never really recovered.

"It was a soft stoppage," he said. "I still believe now that I was in the fight. I just needed a little bit more time to recover.

"He hit me on the top of the head and it made me disorientated. It just wasn’t my day. These things happen in boxing. That is the risk you take when you fight at our weight."

Defeats are painful but inactivity can be as hurtful for a boxer in the long run with people having short memories.

Like every other fighter, the Bradfordian feared for his own career until he got a life changing call.

"Lockdown was hard especially early on when there was so much uncertainty. Gyms were closed so I could not train, it was a difficult time.

"The first few weeks, I thought everything was over, but I managed to get through it.

"As the weeks went on, I got into a good mental place and started running every day to keep focus.

"It got to October and said to my coach I am just going to ease off because it is not likely that I am going to fight now so I will just start properly in the new year.

"A couple of days later he said we have potentially got a fight. I was just buzzing and couldn’t believe that I have got this opportunity."