Josh Wale is finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Brampton fighter turned back the clock on his return to action last weekend, stopping opponent Miklos Hevesi after just 46 seconds.
It was a brutal dismantling that harked back to the exciting early days of his career, when shock and awe performances were the norm.
An impressive win under his belt, Wale is hoping for a big 2014.
“There are some exciting fights on the horizon for me and I’m sure this is going to be my year,” Wale told the Times. “I’ve proven that I’m capable of getting in there with the best and I’m ready for my reward.
“Not many boxers can stop someone in 46 seconds. It takes a special effort to do that.
“It’s a statement and I’m sure plenty of people took notice of it.”
His outing at Barnsley Metrodome was his first since last September when he lost to Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell in a British title final eliminator, coming at the tail end of a sequence of high-profile fights for Wale.
Last month, McDonnell made the win count by beating Leigh Wood to win the British crown.
Rather than heading in opposite directions, Wale insists he his following his local rival closely and is targeting a shot at the Lonsdale Belt.
“I have always said it is my dream to win the British title and I truly believe that I will do that,” Wale said.
“Gav has it, I want it – it’s as simple as that.
“We had a cracking fight last time out and I think we’d have a cracking fight again, particularly with the title being up for grabs.
“He’s going to make some voluntary defences and I’m here waiting.
“Let’s do it again.”
During his last five fights, Wale has fought a current world champion (Stuart Hall), a likely European champion (Kid Galahad) and the new British champion (McDonnell).
Though he suffered defeat in each of those, he by no means disgraced himself in any, ensuring his reputation remains high.
Wale has been named mandatory challenger for Jazza Dickens’ English super bantamweight title with purse bids set to go out this week.
Should the fight be made, Wale has plenty of frustration to take out on the Scouser.
He said: “We should have fought for it in December but he pulled out with a nose injury at the last minute.
“I’d trained hard for eight weeks and it all came to nothing. I’d wasted my time.
“He changed his management not long after that so whether that had something to do with him pulling out I don’t know.
“I’ll not know whether I’m definitely going to fight him until he’s standing over the ring from me but I’m confident of beating him.
“If I’m totally honest I think he’s built up a false reputation over his career and he’s not that special.
“People were raving about him against Kid Galahad but the first real shot that landed from Galahad stopped him.
“If it doesn’t happen there are plenty of irons in the fire for me.
“Some big fights are lined up this year and I’m going to take my chance.”