Lewis Taylor is training for a surprise local derby fight as he seeks to get back in the title-mix.
Dronfield’s former English middleweight champion lost to unbeaten Tommy Langford in March, when the pair contested the WBO Inter-Continental and Commonwealth titles on the undercard of Terry Flanagan v Derry Mathews at Liverpool.
It took his record as W18 L2 D1 - and has left Taylor itching to get back into the big time.
Now he has been slated to fight Sheffield Boxing Centre veteran Dave Fidler, at the Magna Centre, Rotherham, on July 30. It is not a fight anybody had seen coming.
But the Derbyshire man says: “Dennis Hobson (promoter) wanted to me to get back out again and while some people might see this as a warm-up, I know Dave is awkward and game so it would be far from easy. I am training hard for it and hopefully it will be for a title or perhaps an eliminator.
“I want ten rounds and then to get back at the level of the Langfords, Eubanks and the rest. I took a step back against Langford. Overall, it was a good experience but my work-rate wasn’t good enough, he must have thrown four punches for every one of mine. I have to improve in the way I respond after someone throws a shot, and not just with single shots. The score card saw him win by eight points and while I am not making excuses about an off-day I don’t think that was accurate.
“I think I surprised a few people the way I cam back out in rounds 10, 11 and 12.
“Now I am looking to get back among the big names and prove what I know I am capable of.”
Taylor, 26, had to vacate his beloved English title to take the Commonwealth/WBO shot and badly wants to win another. Also slated on the show is Sam Sheedy, another Sheffield Boxing Centre campaigner who has moved up to middleweight.
Asked if he saw him as a rival, Taylor said; “I just see him as somebody who fights in the same city but I am sure at some point he will be offered up. He is a nice kid but at the moment he hasn’t done anything at middleweight and I am looking for much bigger fights.”
The choice of Fidler as an opponent will raise some eyebrows. While he has a W9 L1 D2 record, he has only boxed once since September 2014 and has flirted with retirement. Fidler, 38, said: “I think it is going to be a good scrap. I wouldn’t stop throwing until I got KO’d - and that isn’t happening, although Lewis is a very accurate fit kid and a gentleman.”