Nerves are high, but Ballarat boxer Jack Denahy intends to win big when he takes on the world's best at the 2019 AIBA world boxing championships.
The 20-year-old will depart for Russia on Thursday to compete in the 15-day tournament in Ekaterinburg.
He will be one of eight elite fighters to represent Australia in what will be the experience of a lifetime.
"I'm feeling good, my body is starting to recover from all the training, so my boxing is getting sharper as the days go on," he said.
Denahy will need to win upwards of five fights to advance to the final of the event which will run from September 7-21. The round-robin style format will see winners advance and losers go home.
"All I can do is my best, but I'm looking to win," Denahy said.
"I feel my strengths lie in my pace and tempo. I take pride in my ability to adapt to my opponent, and being able to suss him out in the first couple of minutes to adapt to his style."
Denahy attended a week-long training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra a fortnight ago.
He told The Courier his coaches were happy with the way he was progressing.
"We did a lot of running, a lot of strength and conditioning work and a lot of sparring at the end. We also took recovery and nutrition classes which really helps when I'm back at home. It was really educational," he said.
The Russia event will mark a pinnacle point in the career of the young fighter, who qualified for the world championships after winning the elite men's national 57-kilogram boxing championship in June.
Following the national success, Denahy represented Australia at an international event in Thailand in July, where he fought a former Asian Games gold medallist.
Denahy said the experience gained over the past six months had prepared him well for what he will face in Russia.
"The things that you can't buy when you're trying to improve is experience, and all these things have really played a part in my development as a boxer," he said.
"Before boxing I'd never left the country. I always thought it could take me places - now it has - and it's only the beginning."