A KEIGHLEY boxer is confident a statement will be made this weekend as he takes on his toughest challenge to date as a professional.

In what will only be his fifth outing in the paid ranks, superstar amateur Muhammad Ali travels to London to face the undefeated Ryan Garner.

It is Ali's biggest test since he walked through the ropes at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

"It is a risk to take this fight but it will be worth it when I come away with the win," the super featherweight bullishly told the Keighley News.

Despite both fighting under the Frank Warren banner, it is Ali who will line up in the away corner in the televised bout.

Garner (12-0) is one of a handful of talented youngsters Warren is keen to push onto the title scene in the near future.

Ali hopes to disturb this and upset the apple cart when the pair collide at Bethnal Green's York Hall on Saturday.

He added: "It will be the first time I will be going into a fight as the underdog. I am going into his backyard.

"I can’t wait to get into the ring this weekend. It is my first real test as a pro."

Lockdown, injuries and the lack of hungry sponsors have made Ali's pro career stop-start since turning over in 2020.

Frustrating for a man who excelled as an amateur, appearing at the Olympics and gaining a silver medal at the European Championships.

Garner can also bolster success in the unpaid ranks. The 24-year-old was a brilliant schoolboy and youth who represented England on 19 occasions.

Despite recognising this, Ali does not put himself on the same level as the Southampton man.

He said: "We were both good amateurs, so it should be an entertaining fight. 

"I have left no stone unturned in this camp, so I am ready.

"This is my first eight-rounder. I will gain some good professional experience."

And a prediction for the bout, "I want to shine once again and beat him up," the former Bradford College student reiterated.

"If the knockout comes, it comes but it is just all about getting my arm raised after that final bell."

The card - which is headlined by Mark Chamberlain and features the likes of David Adeleye and Charles Frankham - will get underway at around 7pm live on BT Sport.