Ross Burkinshaw believes he is taking the Kell Brook route to the top.
Sheffield’s bantamweight champion competes for the WBO Inter-Continental title, on May 30, at Rotherham’s Magna Centre.
It was a belt won by Brook back in 2010 and one he defended twice before moving upwards towards his eventual IBF welterweight world title.
Burkinshaw already has the WBO European version and has just relinquished the Commonwealth equivalent.
“They are all top belts, but win the Intercontinental and that is basically my world title eliminator” said the Beighton man.
“Once I win this, I am the next in line for that world title.”
He said he was over the moon when promoter Dennis Hobson said he’d negotiated the title match.
“It is a great title, Kell has won the WBO Intercontinental, Ryan Rhodes did the same, Paul Silky Jones was WBO champion of the world. It is in the top three of organisations. It is a great honour to be fighting for it. I am currently ranked no 10 in the world with the WBO and no 13 with the IBF and once I win this one, I believe I should get in the top ten of the IBF and top five of the WBO.”
Burkinshaw will face 33-year old South African fighter, Klaas Mboyane.
“He has won 16 lost 10 but some of the fights he has lost have been to top class opponents. He is a top fighter and I take every fight as a world title fight and will be doing the same for this one.”
Burkinshaw is now “knuckling down” to an eight week training camp, to be ready for the southpaw.
“When I boxed (Doncaster’s) Jason Cunningham (he was a) great southpaw - I am expecting something similar to that. I believe this guy is going to be a bit more come-forward and have a fight.”
Cunníngham was an excellent technical boxer, but “hard work” admitted Burkinshaw.
“But I beat him. If Mboyane is come-forward that will be better for me anyway.”
* Promoter Eddie Hearn says the winner of Brook’s fight with Frankie Gavin will face Brandon Rios in the autumn.