Martin Murray believes he can challenge at the top of a star-studded super-middleweight division after signing to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.
The St Helens man, who has fought at middleweight for most of his career, was twice denied world titles; firstly to Felix Sturm in 2011 and then to Sergio Martinez in 2014.
The 32-year-old also suffered an 11th round technical knockout to Gennady Golovkin in February - but won many fans for his performance in the process.
Murray will now fight on Liverpool bill on June 26 after heavyweight David Price pulled out having suffered a muscular problem in training.
“I've been in major fights all over the World against Felix Sturm in Germany, Sergio Martinez in Argentina and Golovkin in France but now I feel it's time that I had those major fights in the UK," said Murray.
“I've fought the very best at middleweight and now I'm ready to do the same at 168lbs.
"It's a hot division and domestically can throw up some absolute wars. James DeGale did great to capture the World title and I’d love that fight later this year. George Groves is also challenging for a title and again it's a fight I’d relish.
“I'm excited to return at the Echo Arena on June 26. I've never boxed there and it's not far from my hometown – it's the beginning of a new journey for me. I've always felt I could become a World champion and now under Eddie, Matchroom and Sky Sports I know I will make that dream become reality.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “I’m delighted to welcome Martin to our team of elite fighters.
“Martin has proved time and again that he is one of the best middleweights in the world and now I am looking forward to building him further in the UK and being involved in some huge domestic and international fights.
“It all starts on June 26 at the Echo Arena – these are great times for British boxing and I’m so pleased I get the chance to deliver for Martin Murray.”
Tickets for the huge night of action on Merseyside are on sale now with tickets priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 available from the Echo Arena website www.echoarena.com
and on 0844 8000 400. VIP tickets at £250 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com
and on 01277 359900.