CHRIS BOURKE is a small man with a massive punch and – most importantly – a shrinking paunch.
The Streatham super-bantamweight – with the heavyweight hands – fights for the Southern Area title on Saturday at the behind-closed-doors BT Sport show against Ramez Mahmood.
And fans could be in for a rare treat in the 8st 10lbs division as Bourke is whacking out a name for himself in the too-often unfashionable division as a KO artist.
Mahmood is 11-0 with just two wins inside the distance, while heavy-handed Bourke has let just two of his seven victims hear the final bell.
Bourke’s opponent calls himself the ‘Mathemagician’ and Mahood will need all his skills to work out just where the skinny southpaw gets his venum from.
“I have no idea where the power comes from,” Bourke told SunSport during pre-fight quarantine.
“I am blessed I am getting this knockouts but I used to get quite a few in the amateurs as well, where they are even more rare.
“When I used to play fight at school I remember a few people saying ‘f****** hell, you are so strong!’ But I cannot bench press or lift weights to save my life so the punch power is a mystery.
“I had to lose a bit of lockdown weight for this fight, everything I eat goes straight to my belly and love handles, but hopefully that doesn’t take away my punch.”
Bouke is one of the smallest men in the Peacock Gym especially when compared with heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois.
And the southpaw has enjoyed watching the quiet 22-year-old grow with confidence since racing to the British title in sensational fashion last year.
Bourke said: “Our gym is great right now, we have a range of weights and personalities.
“We have a few very loud guys and a few are usually more quiet, like Dan but even he is really coming out of his shell now.
“It’s really good to see because when he first started he was really quiet and now he is one of the boys, having a laugh and a joke and enjoying everything like all of us.”
Watch Joyce v Wallisch live on BT Sport 1 from 7.15pm on Saturday night