Lytham boxer Scott Cardle is poised to contest an eliminator for the British lightweight title next month.
The fight, which sees him take on ex-British and Commonwealth featherweight ruler John Simpson, will be the most demanding and important of Cardle’s career to date.
They are set to meet at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on November 23 on the under-card of one of the biggest domestic (and grudge) fights of the year between Carl Froch and George Groves.
Tickets for the promotion sold out within 11 minutes of going on sale, ensuring an 18,000 audience at the venue.
It means Cardle, who turned 24 a fortnight ago and has won all his 12 professional contests to date, will not be in action in Sheffield next month.
He had been slated to appear on the same South Yorkshire card as Blackpool’s Brian Rose, who is boxing a world title eliminator against Javier Francisco Maciel, of Argentina.
A fight at Sheffield was regarded by the Cardle camp as merely marking time, so when Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn dangled the prospect of an eliminator they jumped at the opportunity. Simpson is a seasoned campaigner who is used to mixing it at elite, domestic level.
Cardle has not been in this kind of company before, but he is now ready to make his step-up towards the ultimate ambition of a shot at the Lonsdale Belt, and hopefully a springboard to even bigger things.
Meantime, Cardle is putting something back into the club where he learned much of his craft.
He is to sponsor Kirkham Amateur Boxing Club, providing the members with kit.
The big-hearted venture is setting him back an estimated £1,000 or more, and there will be an individual deal to help Kirkham’s sole female member, 14-year-old Billie-Jean Franks, from Poulton.
Cardle’s gesture will aid her expenses and help provide equipment, such as head-guards.
Last weekend Cardle met former world heavy champion Evander Holyfield, who was in Blackpool to promote a local charity.
Cardle spent 90 minutes with the American and was delighted to receive plenty of good advice.
Nicola Adams has been promised stiff competition in the race for Commonwealth Games qualification by England team-mate Lisa Whiteside.
The 28-year-old Preston fighter is ranked second in the world at 57kg but the continued absence of her weight category at the biggest events has forced her to drop down to 51kg.
That puts her in direct competition with Olympic champion Adams for the one place available on the English team in Glasgow and on the British team for the Rio Games in 2016.