Zane ‘Hybrid’ Hopman (left) in action. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

By Jake Beleski

jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Zane ‘Hybrid’ Hopman is ready for the next step on the path to his upcoming fight for the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association cruiserweight title.

Next Thursday night he will take on Alistair Boyd at the Indian Motorcycle Fight Night Event, organised by heavyweight boxer Shane Cameron.

It will be the final outing for Hopman before his mandatory challenge for the cruiserweight title, currently held by Asher Derbyshire, in Masterton on July 15.

It was another challenge to get excited about, Hopman said.

“Every fight is different . . . different opponent, different make-up, and different strengths.

“For me, realistically, having the time in the ring is the most important thing.”

It may only be a stepping stone to the big fight awaiting Hopman in July, but he was taking nothing for granted against an opponent he doesn’t know too much about.

“It’s (title fight) definitely in the back of my mind all the time — these are all stepping stones to that.

“But having said that, I’m not taking it any lighter than any other fight — I still need to work the kinks out.”

He was hopeful of getting through this fight unscathed, and that the people of Wairarapa would then get behind him for the cruiserweight title fight.

They were still looking for a local opponent to fight former professional rugby player Roy Kinikinilau, but there were other drawcards locked in, Hopman said.

“We’ve got a guy coming from the States, who’s an ex-heavyweight professional kickboxer, and also a couple of pros from Auckland.”

Next Thursday’s fight will be on Sky Sport, and the Kuripuni Sports Bar will be screening the bout live.