Peterborough cruiserweight Karl Wheeler says he’s determined to put the heartbreak of his defeat on Saturday night behind him.
Wheeler was outpointed over six rounds by Yavor Marinchev at the York Hall in Bethnal Green after taking two counts.
The referee scored the fight 59-53, but Wheeler says he’s going to carry on fighting.
And the 33 year-old revealed he could fight for a belt in front of his home fans next year.
Wheeler looks set to box for a Challenge belt in Peterborough in March.
He said: “I thought I had lost everything. I thought it had all gone. I was heartbroken,
“But I spoke to my promoter Steve Goodwin afterwards and he says he still wants the Peterborough show to go ahead in March.
“He wants to book up the venue in the next week or so.
“I should be fighting for a Challenge Belt over eight rounds.
“I’m so glad I’m going to get the chance to redeem myself in front of my home crowd.”
Wheeler took big support with him to East London for Saturday night’s fight - and says his gutsy showing against the Bulgarian has earned him a few more fans.
He said: “Even though I lost, I think I’ve gained a few more supporters and friends.
“I think people were impressed by how I carried on fighting after I took those two counts.
“I didn’t think the first knockdown (in the third round) was really a knockdown.
“After that, I was chasing the fight and ended up taking more shots, but I gritted my teeth and kept fighting.
“My ear was bleeding and my trainer Steve Whitwell said he was going to throw in the towel after the fifth round.
“I told him: ‘Don’t you dare.’
“I wanted to keep fighting. I gave it my all in the last round to knock him out, but he was a tough, tough kid.
“I just wasn’t myself in there. It was a bad day at the office. I haven’t got any excuses. Fair play to my opponent. He got his tactics right and was the better man on the night.”
Wheeler says 10-year-old son Onri is his inspiration for getting his career back on track.
Wheeler, sponsored by Global Self Drive, Maximum Nutrition, Bore Hole Solutions, Apex, Barkingheads, Layla’s Lengths and Logic Security, said: “I have to show my son how to deal with a setback.
“It’s easy when you’re winning and I have to show him that when things don’t go your way, you have to keep believing in yourself and fight back.
“I’ve got to get through this.
“For a while, I did think it was all over.
“I thought about maybe going on the road and being a journeyman - or going out to get a job to provide for my family.
“But I’m not quitting.
“I’ve always done things the hard way and now I’m going to train even harder for the next fight.
“I want it to be a tough, toe-to-toe war - and I want to win it in front of my home crowd in Peterborough.”