Luke Blackledge made a promise to himself that he’d become British champion before his time in boxing comes to an end.
And the 25-year-old super-middleweight is intent on fulfilling it as he awaits news of a second chance at landing the Lord Lonsdale strap.
The former Commonwealth champion, who was just one successful defence away from winning the belt outright, is currently waiting to hear the outcome of manager Steve Wood’s application to the British Boxing Board of Control.
But it sounds as though Blackledge, who suffered a 10th-round knockout against previous holder Callum Smith last year, will be handed a pathway to reigning 168lb champion Rocky Fielding.
The Clitheroe fighter, who once fought out of Maree Boxing in Gisburn, is likely to take on Zach Parker, ranked 12th in the United Kingdom, in a final eliminator.
The contest against the Derbyshire pugilist, who has won nine of his 12 unbeaten bouts within the distance, could take place at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on September 2nd, a card which has already had Joe Murray versus Matty Fagan confirmed while Luke Evans is scheduled to defend his unblemished record.
“I’m expecting the fight to happen on September 2nd,” said Blackledge. “It’s going to be a final eliminator for the British title against Zach Parker. If I win that then I get to fight Rocky Fielding.
“He’s an undefeated fighter, he can punch, nine knockouts in his 12 fights suggests that, so it’s another step in the right direction for me. It’s a good fight and whoever wins gets the chance to fight for that Lonsdale Belt.
“I think I can win that belt, without a doubt. Nobody wanted to fight Callum Smith before I took him on and they still don’t want to fight him.
“It’s a beautiful belt and I would love to win it. If I do the business in my next fight then I’ve got another opportunity to win it.”
Victory would give the opportunity for Blackledge to avenge the defeat he suffered at the hands of Fielding in 2013, a fight that he took at a few days notice.
“If it’s Rocky Fielding I fight then so be it,” he said. “If not, I’ll be ready for whoever and that’s all that matters. You can’t go in to fights with grudges because you can lose focus and get caught.
“Rocky is a big, strong super-middleweight so I’ll have to make sure that I’m in great condition, confident and I’ll need a good fight plan.
“I’m more experienced than last time. I took the fight at three or four days notice and I really underestimated him. He can hit like a heavyweight. I’ve sparred with him since and he’s got one of the hardest punches that I’ve felt. It’s like you’ve been hit by a truck so he’s similar to Callum Smith. All fighters at the top level can hit hard.
“I’m not focussed on that at the moment though. I’ve got to get my head down in my training camp so I’m ready to do the business in my eliminator. I can’t mess up this opportunity.”