Brad Foster has been tipped to put his name alongside the boxing greats.
The 21 year old puts his British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight championship belts on the line against Lucien Reid at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday, September 14.
Victory in front of the BT Sport cameras would cap an amazing year for the former kickboxer from Lichfield.
In March, he became the youngest British champion for a decade by outpointing Josh Wale in Barnsley and 10 weeks later, he added Ash Lane’s Commonwealth belt with a 12th-round stoppage.
Manager PJ Rowson believes beating Reid would make Foster a shoo-in for the prestigious Boxing Writers’ Club’s Young Boxer-of-the-year award.
First awarded in 1951 to a 23 year-old Randolph Turpin in recognition of his victory over all-time great Sugar Ray Robinson at Earls Court, Prince Naseem Hamed and Joe Calzaghe are also among the former winners of the award.
Rowson points out that Ryan Rhodes and Paul Appleby won the award after winning British titles at the ages of 20 and 21 years old respectively – and that Foster has equalled that feat and beating Reid would rubber stamp his achievements.
Rowson said: “I would like to think that if Brad wins his name will be put forward.
“It’s phenomenal what he’s achieved.
“He turned pro at 18 without any amateur career behind him – or a TV promoter. He’s done it the hard way, the old-fashioned way, by taking his opportunities when they come along. Every time he’s had an opportunity, he’s come through.”
Foster served his boxing apprenticeship on small-hall shows around the Midlands before joining Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions following his win over Wale.
“He’s been under the radar for a while,” said Rowson, “but now he’s on BT Sport and his next fight is top of the bill at the York Hall, the home of British boxing.
“Brad has worked so hard and really deserves this platform.
“It’s another fight away from home, but that won’t bother Brad. For a man of his age, he is so mature. He is very talented and has a special boxing ability seldom found in a boxer of his age. The future is very bright for this young man.”