Bradley Smith is on the title trail after a fine comeback success last Saturday night.
The St Ives lightweight star extended his unbeaten professional record to nine fights with a points victory against Oscar Amador in Peterborough.
And while the 21 year-old lost a round in the paid ranks for the first time, it was a night full of positives as he outclassed a tough opponent in front of a large crowd on the Matchroom Boxing show in his first ring appearance for almost a year.
And Smith has wasted no time in setting his sights on the Southern Area belt currently held by another unbeaten prospect, Jeff Ofori, as he bids to climb the ladder.
“It felt great to be back in the ring and I boxed well,” said Smith, who has battled severe anxiety during his promising career.
“It was a brilliant platform to be part of such a big show and I’m glad I made the most of it.
“I lost the last round, but Amador came out swinging and I was determined not to take any risks after already having the fight won by then.
“To be honest I don’t know how he was still standing. I could hear him wincing after I caught him with a left hook to the body and I landed loads of other clean shots as well.
“He’s fought some very decent operators in his career and I can now see why. It was a really tough test for me and I’m delighted with the way I came through it.
“I just want to be back in the ring as soon as possible. It’s all about making up for lost time and building momentum.
“I’m confident I will win a title this year. I’ve got my eye on the Southern Area belt and I’m convinced I can beat the current champion any day of the week!”
Smith, trained by Barry Smith at West Ham Boxing Club in London, was cheered on by an army of around 250 fans last Saturday nigh.
And he also benefitted from the backing of a top-level sportsman. Former Premier League footballer-turned-boxer Leon McKenzie was in the local man’s corner.
“Leon trains at our gym a lot and came up with my trainer,” added Smith.
“He played football at the top level and was also a quality boxer himself so his knowledge and experience was a huge plus.”