He's never put more on the line as a pro, but Wollongong world-title prospect Sam Goodman insists his No. 1 position with the IBF isn't weighing heavily on his shoulders heading into Sunday's showdown with Miguel Flores.
It will be the first time Goodman carries his mandatory claim to the IBF super-bantamweight belt into a bout after becoming 'Mr. Mandatory' with a decision win over Ra'eese Aleem on the Gold Coast in June.
He'll return to the same venue on Sunday as the co-feature with Tim Tsyzu's first defence of his WBO super-welterweight crown against Brian Mendoza.
It's a fight in which Flores (25-4-1) seemingly has it all to gain and nothing to lose, but Goodman has never taken that view when it comes to the sweet science.
"I don't like the saying that 'you've got nothing to lose' when you're going into a fight," Goodman said.
"There's always something to lose, there's a fight to lose. I've approached every fight like I've got everything on the line from the time I started boxing as an amateur to right now.
"I never want to lose a fight. You put me in there, ring the bell and have an opponent across from me, I'm going to feel the same every time.
"That's been me the whole way through, ever since I started in this game. I'm going in there no different to any other fight, fully prepared, fully focused with one goal and that's to win by any means necessary.
"As far as the mandatory spot, that's all in the background for me. I know it's there, but it hasn't really crossed my mind."
The pride of Albion Park has taken a similar approach to a potential world-title showdown with Japanese megastar Naoya Inoue that possibly waits on the other side of the scrap with Flores.
Four-division champion Inoue will be looking to become undisputed in a second weight class when he faces unified WBA and IBF title-holder Marlon Tapales in December.
Goodman had issued a call-out to Tapales following his win over Aleem, but was always awake to the reality of having to bide his time in the world-title frame.
"After the last one we knew there was a deal under the table for Inoue and Tapales to fight to unify all the belts if Inoue was to get past (Stephen) Fulton," Goodman said.
"We knew that was a possibility. We tried to go at Tapales, but it's a massive money fight with Inoue so he took that route. I was always pretty much looking towards a fight like [Flores], maybe even another fight this year.
"I can't see anyway Tapales beats Inoue, so it looks like [Inoue's] going to have all the belts. Everything's going to be tied up in one bloke and the decisions he's going to make, so there's no point me worrying about what I can't control or fights I haven't had yet.
"I'm going to stay very busy until I get my world title shot and I'm not looking past the bloke I've got in front of me."
It's a wise approach against the 31-year-old Mexican-American who's shared the ring with the likes of four-weight world champion Leo Santa Cruz and three-division champion Abner Mares; fighting the latter to a majority draw in September last year.
"He's been in with some of the best there is and it's a probably different challenge to anything I've fought so it's exciting," Goodman said.
"He's got that Mexican style so he'll be coming to fight. I've done plenty of work with these sort of styles in the gym but I haven't really come across this kind of style on fight night.
"It'll be interesting, but everyone knows how I fight. I'm going to meet him in the middle of the ring and take all his confidence from him early, let him miss while I'm in front of him, and then pour it on him. We'll see how he deals with what I bring."
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