Ross Burkinshaw hasn’t won a boxing match since May 2010 - a night when he was on Ryan Rhodes’ undercard at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.
Rhodes successfully defended his European light middleweight title that night against Italian Luca Messi, while Burkinshaw won low key four-rounder on points against journeyman Delroy Spencer.
The careers of the two Sheffielders have moved on since then and Rhodes is now training Burkinshaw, who has lost three times since 2010, including a Central Area super bantamweight title match-up with current British champion Gavin McDonnell.
Burkinshaw, who faces Lithuanian Levan Garibashvili on a Dennis Hobson bill at the Octagon centre on Sunday, is ebullient about his future prospects.
Speaking on video at thestar.co.uk, he said: “I have been training brilliantly, it is the best I’ve ever trained, and I have trained for English and British titles but not done as much work as this one.
“Everything has gone right, my diet, running strength and conditioning. In he gym I have been working on everything thee movement of the head, the stepping off at different angles it’s all come together now. I am 27 and have matured a lot, I think this is my time.”
Burkinshaw expects Garibashvili to be a “typical East European come-forward” fighter. His plan is to try to “trick him and hurt him.”
The home fighter has been stopped in his last three fights, but he claims: “This is the new Ross the Boss.
“Injuries have come about on and off for the last two years but I have gone back in the deep end, my last fight with Gavin McDonnell, I got beat but that is no disgrace.
“I was so strong at bantamweight I used to just take shots and thought I could walk right through anybody. All my sparring had been with bigger people. Now I am getting more my weight to spar with, up to lightweight, it’s a lot better. I don’t want to be a has-been who had the English title then he lost this and lost that and then gave up. I want to come back and get myself back up there I am aiming way ahead now.
I believe I can get up in the world rankings at bantamweight, if I work hard.”
n Sunday’s card also includes: Sam Matkin v Dale Hutchinson, Jamie Sampson v Ismail Anwar, Pharys Nassa v David Kvaratskhelia, Uzair Najib v Aivaras Balsys, David Allen v Moses Matovu, Qasim Hussain v Leo D’Erlanger. Also boxing: Zahid Hussain, Justin Newell, Justin Newell, Ramzy Nassa, Hassan Ahmed, Reece Cartwright and Orlando Burke.