Ambitious Bradley Smith has set himself an 18-month title target.

The St Ives lightweight is gearing up for his third professional fight after launching his career in the paid ranks with a pair of wins last year.

He steps back through the ropes at the York Hall in London – the scene of both previous successes – when facing Anto Nakic on Saturday, March 12.

Smith (18) said: “I'm not going to be one of those boxers who just goes around calling people out, but I do believe I can be a Southern Area champion in the next 18 months.

“I don't want to rush things, but I do want to keep progressing and becoming a champion while I'm still a teenager would be a great way to start my career.

“I'm hoping to get four fights in this year, maybe even five. It's an important year in my development and the first job is to get another good win on my record next month.”

Nakic is a 32 year-old Bosnian based in Croatia who has lost five of his seven fights to date.

However, three of those defeats have been at the hands of unbeaten fighters – a record Smith will be out to extend in what he hopes will be his final fight over the minimum four-round distance.

Smith added: “The training has gone well and I'm really feeling the benefit of a longer camp.

“We've prepared for this fight for 10 weeks, rather than the eight weeks we did ahead of my last two fights.

“I'm out to complete the hat-trick in what will hopefully be my last four-rounder, but there is no chance of me taking this guy lightly.

“Eastern Europeans are always tough opponents – I know that from my first fight against Ivailo Boyanov which turned into a war.

“I'm not going to do anything stupid. While it would be great to get Nakic out of there, I'm not going to go looking for the knockout.

“I can dig, but I'm never going to be a one-punch KO artist because I'm a counter puncher.

“Having more time in the ring will be a good thing and there will be a lot more to come from me when I get up to six rounds.”

It's a big few weeks for St Ives Boxing Academy with Smith putting his unbeaten record on the line seven days before Tyler Goodjohn and Karl Wheeler fight for titles.

Goodjohn faces Johnny Garton for the vacant English welterweight crown in just his second fight in the division on March 19, also at York Hall. Wheeler features on the same bill when he takes on unbeaten Biola Kudus for the British Challenger cruiserweight belt.

“The gym is absolutely buzzing,” continued Smith. “Everyone is bouncing off each other and hopefully we can all do the business and get the success our trainer, Steve Whitwell, deserves.”