Peterborough cruiserweight Karl Wheeler hopes winning his next fight will lead to a Southern Area title shot.
Wheeler returns to the ring after a year out when he takes on Croatia’s Tomislav Rudan at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday (September 5).
And if he wins the six-round fight, manager Stephen Whitwell will press Wheeler’s claims for a crack at the Southern Area title.
Lawrence Bennett , who challenges Matty Askin for the English title on Saturday, October 17, currently wears the belt - and Wheeler hopes he will get the chance to take it off him.
The 33 year-old said: “If I win my next fight, I’m hoping to be made the mandatory challenger for the Southern Area title.
“So I can’t afford to lose. I’m going to give it everything.”
“I’ve got to put in a good performance if I want that title fight, but as long as I win and keep winning, I will get my title shot, hopefully by the end of the year.”
Earlier this year, 27 year-old Rudan went the six-round distance with ex-Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Tony Conquest and goes into this weekend’s fight boosted by back-to-back wins. But Wheeler is confident he can make a victorious return to action.
He said: “I’m doing different things in the gym and the way I’m punching, I don’t see my next opponent lasting the distance.”
Wheeler was only a clean punch or two from handing rock-chinned Moses Matovu a rare stoppage defeat last September - and says if he gets the chance to have an early night in his next fight, he will take it.
Wheeler said: “I caught Moses, shook him up, then stood off and let him recover rather than finishing the job.
“I suppose I wanted to get a few rounds under my belt, but now I want to get a few knock outs on my record.”
As always, Wheeler, sponsored by Global Self Drive, Maximum Nutrition, Bore Hole Solutions, Apex and Barkingheads, will be well supported in East London.
He has sold over 100 tickets and his support should be boosted by those following stablemate Matty Parr.
They spar regularly and Wheeler said of the St Ives light-heavyweight: “Matty is a good lad and nice to talk to, but he can really fight !
“He stole the show on his professional debut and if his supporters get behind me it’s going to be noisy !”
Also on the bill at York Hall is Eye light-heavyweight Sam Barron, who returns after a two-year break looking to make it four wins out of four:
Tickets for the show are available from 07713-194038.