Craig Derbyshire has hailed the turning point of his career after winning the Central Area super flyweight title.
The Bentley fighter earned an unexpected triumph over the unbeaten Anthony Smith in Lancashire last weekend, picking up his fifth win from 28 fights.
And now he is targeting more titles after winning the first of his professional career.
“This win has opened up a lot for me,” the 25-year-old told the Free Press.
“Hopefully I’ll be fighting for the English title in my next fight, or at least be in a final eliminator.
“It’s changed a lot of things for me. I’ve been fighting on the road all my career but now opponents will come to me because I’ve got something they want.”
The father of four has effectively operated as a journeyman fighter since switching from mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2014.
He has been in the away corner for every fight but through those tough conditions has grown to become a strong opponent.
In 2017 his record stands at 2-4-3, an impressive performance for an away fighter.
He hopes his Central Area title triumph will earn him the opportunity to fight in Doncaster for the first time.
He said: “It would be great to fight in my home town and get the chance to build some support here.
“I’d really like to get on a show at the Dome, hopefully fighting for an English title.
“I don’t mind fighting away. I like to fight and I’ll carry on doing it.
“But you don’t get what you deserve. You get a lot of decisions that don’t go your way, losing by the odd point because you’re the away fighter when you deserve the win.
“I’m improving all the time and hopefully I’ll start getting the results that I deserve.”
Derbyshire, who trains under Niall Almond in Thorne, had opponent Smith down twice in the final round which proved vital as he earned a 95-94 points verdict.
While he went to Leigh as the underdog, he insists he was always confident of victory.
He said: “I never go into any fight thinking any different. It doesn’t matter what the situation is.
“I thought he’d gas after four rounds and I could take over but to be fair to him, he kept going all the way through.
“It was a great fight and I was over the moon to get the decision.”
n Rossington super featherweight Maxi Hughes (inset) has signed a three-year managerial contract with Stefy Bull.
The former British title challenger will be back in action on September 1 at the Dome, a show promoted by Bull. He will continue to be trained by Jimmy Harrington at Freedom Boxing Club.
n Conisbrough heavyweight David Allen is due to return to action in a six round contest at Preston’s Guild Hall on Saturday night.
Last time out, Allen was beaten in his quest for the Commonwealth heavyweight title, losing on points to Lenroy Thomas.