Maxi Hughes is looking to lead the charge of the new generation of super featherweights after winning a British title eliminator in Belfast.
The Rossington fighter claimed a split points decision on Saturday night against home town fighter James Fryers.
Current British and Commonwealth champion Liam Walsh appears likely to vacate his titles in order to move onto the international scene.
And Hughes – who trains at the Freedom Gym in Lindholme under Dave Hulley and Jimmy Harrington – says he is ready to pick up the mantle.
“This win has put me at the front of the queue for a title fight,” he told the Free Press. “The goal for me is the British or Commonwealth title and I’m getting closer to that.
“I think Liam Walsh and Stephen Smith are probably a step above the rest of the super featherweights in this country.
“Walsh looks like he’ll vacate to go to world level and that’s probably right.
“I’m ready to step up and claim it. I think Troy James is the mandatory for the title so if Walsh does vacate, I’d have no hesitation in fighting him for the title.”
Hughes claimed 97-93 and 96-94 scores from two judges with Fryers taking a baffling 98-93 score from the third.
The 25-year-old was back in the gym yesterday preparing for a likely date in April for his next fight.
Hughes said: “Josh Warrington looks like he’ll be fighting in Leeds on April 16 so my manager Steve Wood is looking at getting me on that one.
“It’s good because it keeps me active and working towards this title fight.”