A GALASHIELS boxer is playing the part of “real-life Rocky” as he bids to win a world title.

John McCallum will soon head to Yekaterinburg in Russia for a shot at the WBO Cruiserweight Championship.

But if McCallum is to bring the title to the Borders, he will have to see off 6ft 5in Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Tishchenko.

McCallum, 32, said: “This is without doubt the biggest fight of my career.

“It has the potential to be life-changing.

“I am expected to lose this fight, so it is a win-win situation for me. There is no pressure.

“To put it in football terms, it is like Hibernian playing Real Madrid. It is like a real-life Rocky story.

“I know it is going to be tough, but this fight is what dreams are made of.”

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Russian Tishchenko has won all seven of his professional bouts – five of them by knockout.

And as an amateur, the 29-year-old amassed a world title, two European championships, as well as an Olympic gold at the Rio games in 2016.

McCallum’s last bout was in February last year when he defeated Irishman Casey Blair in Glenrothes.

But he has been putting in the hard work with his sparring partner Nick Webb to ensure he is at his best when he faces Tishchenko, who asked for the contest.

He added: “I know he [Tishchenko] is a very talented boxer and I may not technically be as good as him; but I have got a big heart and right hand which can cause him problems.

“There is no point in me trying to take him all the way.

“I need to go in there and try my best to knock him out.

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“I have been sparring with Nick Webb who is 6ft 5in to try and get used to the height difference.

“I am 6ft 1in so I need to adjust.”

The fight will take place at the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg on Saturday, November 7.

And fans will be allowed into the 35,000-seater arena, which was a venue at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

McCallum added: “I know there will be big support for Tishchenko, as the fight is in Russia.

“But I have just got to go there and give it my best shot. That is all I can do.”