Mark Heffron has received a massive vote of confidence ahead of his next fight.
The middleweight power puncher returns from his British-title defeat to Liam Williams next month.
Heffron will fight over six rounds in front of his home crowd at Oldham Leisure Centre on Friday, March 15 and according to manager Kevin Maree, the 27 year old can still reach the very top.
“I’ve seen Mark spar world-class lads and I still believe he will be a world champion,” said Maree, whose coaching career includes spells with Carl Frampton, Michael Gomez and Kenny Anderson.
“But he is still relatively inexperienced. We jumped up a few levels because I felt Mark was at that level and I still do.
“What happened against Liam Williams will make him a better fighter.
“I have known Mark for a long time and one of his flaws has always been that he gets too tense and forgets to box because he puts too much pressure on himself to get the knockout.
“We told him before the Williams fight to be relaxed and take his time and I think he was too relaxed in there.
“He couldn’t snap out of it and start letting his hands go.
“I knew we were in for a hard night after going in Liam’s changing room before the fight. I wasn’t happy with the hands wraps and there ended up being a full-blown argument. Liam was the coolest guy in the room. He looked so steely and confident and as I walked out of the changing room I thought: ‘We are in for a tough night’s work here.’
“Liam was a class act afterwards. He came into the changing room and said: ‘I pick pocketed you, you will do the same to someone one day.’”
Heffron reckons he was at “only 40 per cent” for the Williams fight and added: “That just wasn’t me in there and anyone who knows me knows that.
“I perforated my ear drum in the second or third round and after that, my balance was all over the place.
“It ended up being a really, really bad performance. I have to learn from that and move on.
“I’m looking for a new trainer and I want to have a couple of fights to settle in with him and then I will be looking to step up again.”
Heffron is yet to be matched on the Oldham show and said: “I’m hoping for a durable opponent. I need a few rounds. I don’t learn anything from blasting people out in a round or two.”