Fans favourite Frank Buglioni is targeting a huge year as he prepares to open proceedings against fellow Brit Callum Johnson at the 02 Arena.
If the Londoner is victorious, then he’ll win the Lonsdale belt outright, something he has intended to do since winning the title against Hosea Burton.
And the ‘Wise Guy’ has praised the fans ahead of his showdown with the Commonwealth champion on March 24.
“My fans are gonna come out in big numbers, we’re going to have a great night and I’ll win the British outright,” Buglioni exclusively told World Boxing News.
Comparing himself to Johnson, he added: “I’ve mixed it at a higher level, I’ve certainly suffered a few setbacks, but I’ve rode through them and I’m now at my best and will only keep improving.
“Johnson’s a good fighter but he hasn’t been in the ring with someone of my calibre, I’ve fought with guys at his level and above and won against them.
“Light-heavyweight is certainly the weight for me, I’m training hard but not feeling drained now so I’m putting the work in the gym and feeling fresh the next day – whereas at super-middleweight, it was grinding me down towards the end of each week, feeling fatigued and flat so by my weekend sessions.
“I was only getting around 60% of my best. But now I’m getting 100% out of my sessions, I’m in a very good place.”
Since moving up to the 175lb category, the 28-year-old has remained undefeated, recording four successive victories.
And Buglioni admitted he’ll be eyeing a shot at world title contention once he’s fought the likes of Anthony Yarde and Hosea Burton.
He said: “Beating the likes of Yarde and Burton would cement me as the best in the country and then the opportunities will be there.
“Once you’re the biggest name in your division in Britain, then you are known in world boxing because the British fans are so renowned and so vocal, it puts you on a big platform.
“I am so thankful to the British fans for being so involved in boxing.”
Buglioni also addressed the possibility of pushing on to world level after cleaning up domestically.
“I think if Badou Jack comes through against Stevenson, he’d be certainly one on my wish list as well as Bivol. I’ve seen weaknesses in all of them, the least amount of weaknesses in Sergey Kovalev, he would be the hardest challenge.
“But aside from that, there’s some good fighters out there. I rate Sullivan Barrera very highly, Adonis Stevenson as I said before. I’m leaning towards him beating Badou Jack with the power and being a southpaw. There’s some good unbeaten Russian guys, it’s a very competitive division.
“Having said that, I expect to be talking and spoke about in the same breath as these fringe level guys when people see the improvements I’ve made this year,” he concluded.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95