WBA world super-featherweight champion Jason Sosa has lifted the lid on his former life as a pizza chef -- just days before facing superstar Vasyl Lomachenko in a unification fight on April 8.
While WBO king Lomachenko was already amassing a famous amateur record of 396-1, Sosa was working in a cauldron of a kitchen 12 hours a day, six days a week up until the age of 20 when he belatedly took up boxing.
The 29-year-old from New Jersey has enjoyed a startling rise to prominence in the nine years that have followed but far from playing down his humble beginnings, Sosa believes his previous struggles have furnished him with true underdog spirit.
Ahead of facing the feared Ukrainian in Maryland, Sosa (20-1-4-KO15) told RingTV: "You work making pizzas all day, it starts to make you think that there is always something better, always something more out there than working at a pizza store.
"It's why I took up boxing. I was always athletic and good at every sport that I played. Thinking about that kept me going, and out of nowhere, I went to gym one morning and that's where it started.
"Now look at me today. I'll be fighting on national TV, this kid who used to make pizzas all day. No one expects me to win. I know that reality. I love it. I love being the underdog, because I've been an underdog my whole life.
"The pressure, the way I see it, is on Lomachenko. He doesn't know that much about me. No one does, because I'm still learning the sport. I haven't shown everything that I can really do in the ring. The world better get ready for a surprise April 8."
Lomachenko (7-1-KO5) is the fastest two-weight world champion in the history of the sport and is a clear favourite to unify the two belts -- but Sosa was impressively ruthless in the maiden defence of his title in November; a wide points victory over Liverpool's Stephen Smith.