Michael Conlan confident he will "destroy" the 'Irish Slayer'
"I'm ready for anything."
Belfast's Michael Conlan is on the verge of a world title fight, but first he has to get past the dangerous Ionut Baluta, who is coming off two big wins against fellow Irishmen.
TJ Doherty and former Olympian, Davey Oliver Joyce, both suffered defeats at the hands of Baluta and now the 'Irish Slayer' has his sights locked on the silky switch-hitter from west Belfast.
In an interview with IFL TV, Conlan stated that: "Baluta is a dangerous opponent, especially when you're on the verge of a title fight, he could be a potential banana skin.
"I've watched and studied him, and I know what to do on Friday night."
The 29-year-old is dropping down from featherweight to super bantamweight to try and accelerate his journey towards a world title fight, and does not believe that dropping the extra four pounds will have a negative impact on his preparation.
The two-time Olympian is currently ranked number one by the WBO but didn't want to take an easy fight just to "keep busy" and he plans on avenging his two countrymen.
"He's beat two Irish fighters in a row, two good fighters. He's aggressive, he's powerful, but he does make mistakes," added the undefeated fighter.
"He makes up for it with his aggression, he's got a lot about him and looks like he has a good engine as well, but I'm ready for anything. I think he's the type of fighter that will bring out the best in me."
A packed out arena in New York on St Patrick's Day is the kind of atmosphere that the Irishman is used to, but he will have to settle for an empty York Hall this Friday night.
When asked if he was afraid of becoming another victim on Baluta's Irish hit-list, Conlan didn't bat an eyelid...
"I'll destroy him."