CHAMPION JJ Metcalf knows he is in for a tough challenge when he puts his Commonwealth title on the line against Farnworth’s Jack Flatley.

The Boltonian is a former English super-welterweight belt holder but is now looking for more gold in the 154lb division on Saturday night.

A foot injury forced Flatley to pull out of a meeting with Anthony Fowler back in March but Metcalfe has been battling injuries of his own.

Hand problems have caused the unbeaten 32-year-old’s career to stall and since his title-winning performance when he stopped Jason Welborn in June 2019, he has boxed just once.

On that occasion in February, Jan Balog was stopped in just 32 seconds.

However having sparred Flatley in the past, and put the work in in the gym ahead of their meeting live on BT Sport, ‘Kid Shamrock’ insists he is more than ready to defend his title.

Metcalf said: “Before the Welborn fight I broke my hand quite badly and needed an operation, so I rolled the dice with that fight and took it.

“I had the operation afterwards and it took time to make a full recovery.

“I am not worried about the hand. I think it will be okay when I defend the title against Jack and it will work out okay on the night.

“I’ve been using it in sparring and it has felt okay so I am not worried. I think this operation has sorted it out.

“I’ve done loads of sparring with Jack and not even long ago either.

“The last time would have been last year. I know his style and how he will go about the fight.

“He is tough, strong, fit and throws a lot of shots. It will be a tough fight and no walk in the park.

“I could have done with a few more rounds since I won the title, but I have done good sparring and I’m prepared.”

Metcalf has 13 stoppages in his perfect 21-fight record while Alex Matvienko-trained Flatley has won 16 of 18 as a professional.

The fight is behind closed doors, due to Covid-19 restrictions, at the BT Sports Studio and is part of the live broadcast that gets under way at 7pm on BT Sport 1.

Liam Williams defends his British middleweight crown against mandatory challenger Andrew Robinson in the main event.