CHORLEY boxer Michael Jennings is counting down to his date with destiny this weekend with the support of the whole town behind him.

Michael, 31, fights Miguel Cotto for the WBO welterweight title in the early hours of Sunday at Madison Square Garden, New York.

The fight, which will be his 36th of a ten year professional career, completes a sporting journey which has taken Michael from Chorley Amateur Boxing Club on Lyons Lane to the bright lights of Manhattan and the blaze of global publicity.

The former Holy Cross High School student, who grew up on Ridge Road, is an underdog for the bout, but believes he has the talent to take the world crown.

Speaking shortly before he left for the ‘Big Apple’, where he will train prior to the fight at a gym in the Bronx, Michael said he was ready for the biggest occasion of his career.

“It's a massive fight for me, the biggest of my life.

“Cotto is a brilliant opponent so obviously I need to be at the top of my game and as strong as I can possibly be.

“When I started training at Chorley ABC, if someone said in a few years you'd be at Madison Square, I wouldn't have believed it.”

Michael, who also performs as a drummer in rock band, The Shoks, has been inundated with messages of support from his home town and says a tiny corner of the venue will be taken over by his fans.

He said: “There will probably be 100 of my supporters from Chorley, maybe 200 at the very most.

“Most of them have got big mouths as well, so I'm sure I'll hear my name being shouted out.