ST JOSEPH’S fighter Frankie Borg enters the lion’s den to defend his Welsh middleweight title against former European champion Kerry Hope in Merthyr tomorrow night, writes Andrew Penman.

The Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre, formerly Rhydycar Leisure Centre, is the venue for the intriguing match-up.

And hometown hero Hope will be banking on his vocal fans to cheer him on to victory as he aims to snatch the crown to add to his collection of belts before taking on Chris Eubank Jr at London’s Copperbox Arena next month.

But Cardiff’s Borg, who trains with Tony Borg at St Joseph’s in Newport, is relishing a hot reception and ready to upset the home fans to retain his belt.

“I can’t wait. It’s a very big fight for me against Kerry Hope,” said the 33-year-old, who lost to Eubank in November.

“He’s a very good fighter and a former European champion so if I can beat him it should put me right up there challenging.

“He’s been around for a long time as a pro but he’s beatable. I’ve put the work in and it’s going to pay off on the night.

“I know him well because I grew up with Kerry through the amateur days. We boxed on a lot of the same shows but we’ve never boxed each other,” he added.

“This will be the first time and I’m going to get the win in his back yard.

“I was meant to fight him in Cardiff but I wasn’t 100 per cent so it’s in Merthyr but that makes no difference to me.

“I’m looking forward to it. I hope I do get booed because it’ll inspire me and he better have his A Game on.”

The Welsh Pride bill will also see the long-awaited return to the ring of Cefn Fforest fighter Robbie Turley after two years out.

Also in action are WBC international champion Chris Jenkins, former Welsh challenger Tony Pace, Newport’s Adam Goldsmith and Hassan Karkardi of Bristol.

The event will be shown live on Eurosport and tickets are available on 0117 949 6699. Doors open at 6pm with the first bell at 6.30pm.