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Tom Hill: I’m hungry for this opportunity

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Former Northern Area title challenger Hill (9-1, 2 KOs) faces unbeaten Rafferty (12-0, 7 KOs) on a must-see card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.

After tasting defeat last year, Hill feels rejuvenated, and believes it has been a blessing in disguise ahead of the battle with Rafferty.

Hill said: “I don’t know a great deal about Rafferty. I’ve seen a few fights on YouTube and that’s about it. He looks a decent kid so I’m expecting a good fight.

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“I can’t take too much from the fights I’ve seen of him because he’ll be a different fighter when he has someone like me in front of him.

“I’ve got the loss on my record, but I learnt a lot more from that one loss than I’ve learnt in my full professional career and I genuinely believe it will turn out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

“It will be a weird experience fighting in front of no fans, but that could be a good thing as I’ll be able to hear my coach throughout. It won’t be the same without everyone there supporting me though.

“With a win here, I want to be on more big fight cards, get some even bigger fights and win titles. That’s what we’re all in the sport for.”

Also on the bill on Sunday is a superb fight between two unbeaten fighters, as Michael McKinson takes on Martin Harkin, while recent world title challenger Jay Harris defends his Commonwealth flyweight title against Marcel Braithwaite.

Elsewhere, former world champion Paul Butler goes up against Ryan Walker, Jordan Reynolds makes his professional debut against Scott James, Lewie Edmondson faces Andy Bishop, and Paul McCullagh enters the paid ranks.

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