Former two-time British light-welterweight champion Lenny Daws moves back into title contention on November 8 at Glow, Bluewater, Kent, when he meets Frenchman Chaquib Fadli for the vacant EU title on Channel 5.
Had it not been for the judges' scorecards, however, Daws could well have been crowned European champion last June. Unfortunately, though, the Morden man's trip to Italy to fight Michele Di Rocco ended with him losing a contention points decision after twelve rounds.
“It's been very hard to get over that,” he said. “I've had a little look at Di Rocco again, and seen what he's been up to since we fought, and he's high up there in the rankings now. He's on the cusp of a world title shot. That's where I should be really. I should be European champion now.
“But that's all in the past and I've moved on. The European title is still very much in my sights and I can still pull it off. It's a belt I'd love to have. Di Rocco doesn't want a rematch, so I'll have to win this title and then try and force him into fighting me. Either that or he'll get a world title shot and vacate his European title. Then I can fight for it.”
First, Daws must overcome the threat of Fadli this Saturday. It's a task that shouldn't be taken lightly. The Frenchman is unbeaten in his last ten fights and has never been stopped in a six-year professional career.
“We haven't seen a lot of him in action – just bits and pieces,” said Daws, 28-3 (10 KOs). “We know he's tall and a back-foot boxer. Also, I think he's an inch taller than me, which is unusual. I usually fight much smaller people. Saying that, though, my last opponent (Sylwester Walczak) was six-foot, so that's put me in good stead for this one.
“His height shouldn't be a problem. Obviously, he'll go on the back-foot, keep it long and try to counter-punch me. We'll suss him out round by round. He's only gone ten rounds once. He's never done twelve. So, as the fight goes into the later stages and I keep a busy work-rate, I might be able to break him down and get him out of there.
“Whatever happens, I've trained for twelve, hard rounds. If it has to go twelve rounds, so be it. I'll be ready. I've got to be busy, I've got to be switched on and I'll capitalise on his weaknesses.”
Should Daws have his way with Fadli and bag yet another light-welterweight title, there's every chance he will get his wish and move on to bigger and better honours in 2015.
“I've been forced into eliminators for the British title and it's not something I really want to be doing,” said the 35-year-old. "I want to push beyond that now. I know I'm capable of winning other titles.
“If you get the European title, you're not far off a shot at the world title. That's the plan. I haven't got long left in the game and I just want the opportunity. At least then I'll know whether I could or couldn't become world champion.
“People say I'm getting on a bit, but it doesn't affect me. I'm still super fit and I'm still training with youngsters who can't keep up with my pace.”
The MaxiNutrition Knockout tournament final between Bob Ajisafe and Travis Dickinson takes place Saturday, November 8, live on Channel 5 (10pm-12pm).
Tickets are available to purchase from Ticketline.co.uk or by calling the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 9991
Tickets are priced at £25 for General Admission, £50 for Outer Ringside Reserved Seating, £100 for Inner Ringside Reserved and £120 for Inner Ringside Reserved (Please note that the £120 ringside tickets will secure you a seat in the first 3 rows)