MARK Schleibs is primed to test the resolve of unbeaten former regional titleholder, Brock Jarvis.
The 27-year-old Victorian, who faces off with the Sydney-based Jarvis (17-0, 15 KOs) for an IBF affiliated regional title on Friday night, is adamant that a career-best scalp will be secured in Canberra.
Schleibs (12-0, 8 KOs) has pinpointed a few major defects in the style of Jarvis — but none more so than what he believes to be a weak chin.
“I believe I’m going to stop Brock to be honest,” Schleibs told Aus-Boxing.
“I feel he has a weak chin, and he doesn’t take a shot well.
“I saw that in his last fight, everytime he took a right hand, he wobbled. If he does that with me… I’ll get him out of there fairly quick.”
Jarvis stands as Schleibs’ biggest test to date, and one that he’s jumping two weight classes to face. But for the kid from humble beginnings, the reward would be well worth the risk.
“A win here would propel my career, especially in the Australian boxing scene,” he explained.
“We’ve had to come up two weight divisions to get the fight. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take to get the reward at the end.
“The win will open doors up for me to international fights and maybe bigger domestic matches also.”
Agreeing to fight at featherweight means Schleibs will be at a distinct height and reach disadvantage. Despite this, he’s not concerned about the difference in size, believing his own skill-set will be too much for his unbeaten rival.
“We’ve prepared for the bigger man but Brock doesn’t really fight tall,” he said.
“He doesnt use his height like a taller fighter normally would. Every sparring partner we’ve used is above lightweight, so we’re fully prepared for that.
“I feel like I have the better skills. I’ll use my feet better, be crafty and walk him onto shots and outbox him.”
Exuding confidence, Schleibs continued to not only emphasise a perceived difference in skill, but also a contrast in mental fortitude.
“There’s a lot of people talking for Brock, saying he’s this and he’s that,” he added.
“But at the end of the day, it’s only me and Brock in there, and he’s got to prove it to me. You have Jeff being so emotional about this fight, he’s more invested emotionally than Brock is.
“It’s like he’s fighting on the night and that’s the thing, Jeff cant help him.
“I’ve been very vocal about it, Jeff can’t hold his hand when that bell rings and he’s going to be in there with me.”
Fenech himself has had a bit to say in the lead up to the fight, but it was one thing in particular that proved to be perplexing to the Victorian.
“Jeff says that he doesn’t know who I am, but how can he not?” Schleibs says.
“If he didn’t know who the fighters were around Brock’s weight, he wouldn’t be a very good trainer. When he says things like that I don’t take notice.
“He’s been in the game — and he’s the most accomplished boxer in Australia — a legend of the sport. But he’s been looking at me, and that’s probably why they’ve been quiet.
“They don’t want to put too much pressure on Brock as he doesn’t handle it well.”
Schleibs is convinced that he can win this fight, while also setting a standard for the domestic scene, given the risk he’s taking by facing the bigger Jarvis.
“Not many fighters go up two weight divisions and take on a knockout artist like they say he is but I’m trying to set a standard for Australian boxing,” he concluded.
“We need to take these risks and we need to fight each other. Look at the interest for this fight.”