Sam O’maison is one of boxing’s best kept secrets.
Those in the know recognise the talent in him - but after 15 fights over five years, he still has to make his mark on the national stage.
The Sheffield southpaw hasn’t always had the breaks.
Yet he and his trainer Ryan Rhodes believe all that is going to change.
“I have been training since I was nine, day in, day out, just constant graft” says the 26 year old.
“I have been in with some of the best. I have done plenty of rounds with Kell Brook and Junior Witter and have learned for them.
“I have been in the background a lot, watching, in the shadows. No one has really known of me” he admits.
But he stresses: “I could come along, I believe, and beat a really good kid.
“Then people will think: ‘Where did he come from?’
He said his career not been over-protected, but he hadn’t been allowed “off the leash” - something he had expected at the latter end of a decade-long stay with the Ingles.
A disagreement meant O’maison moved on to Rhodes, who is preparing him for an eight rounder on July 29, where he aims to win the International Challenge Belt title at light welterweight at Ponds Forge.
He believes he is now blossoming, saying: “I can switch, I can scrap, I can box, I can do it all,” adding his confidence was now sky-high.”
His sparring has included taking to the ring with light middleweight and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anthony Fowler.
He said: “He’s a big kid. Strong, I remember looking at him seeing these veins, just shredded muscle, veins all over his neck and shoulders.
“He didn’t hold back, he’d come to take my head off. But I did good. It was even - a 50-50 spar.
“He’d wanted someone tricky so I gave him exactly that.”
Brook won his world title at 28 - and O’maison believe he can now make strides to catch his friend up.
“I believe I am on course.” he said.
“I have done plenty of rounds with Kell. Don’t get me wrong I have got to be aware, I have got to move, because he can whack. And if he hits you, it’s lights out. I train as hard as he does. And if he can do it I can do it”
After the next International fight he is mandatory for the English and wants on to make a move on the British title next year.
* Former Sheffield United footballer Curtis Woodhouse, 37, who turned professional boxer in 2006 at super lightweight but retired in June 2014, has confirmed his return to the ring.
He will fight on a Stefy Bull show on September 2 at Doncaster Dome.