Gary Cully sees his battle with Viktor Kotochigov as the first step towards a future world title shot ahead of their showdown on the March 12th #MTKFightNight event.
Undefeated Irishman Cully (11-0, 5 KOs) faces Kazakh Kotochigov (12-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO European lightweight title at the University of Bolton Stadium next Friday, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
Already a national champion at lightweight in Ireland, a win would see 'The Diva' receive a world ranking with the WBO, previous holders of this belt have gone on to become world champions, such as Terry Flanagan, and the 25-year-old talent is excited about the huge opportunity ahead of him.
Cully said: "This is a massive fight. I had originally agreed to the fight without a title even being on the line, so for it then to get upgraded to being for the WBO European lightweight title is great.
"It would be my second belt in the space of the year, so it's a fight I'm really looking forward to. I fought at 140lbs in my last fight, so to be back at lightweight is fantastic as well.
"When I pick up this title, I'll have become Irish champion and WBO European champion within my first 12 fights, and I'll then have a world ranking too.
"I want to start climbing up those rankings, and then hopefully I can be within touching distance of a world title shot this time next year."
Joining Cully and Kotochigov on the huge #MTKFightNight on March 12, Lewis Crocker defends his WBO European welterweight title against Deniz Ilbay, Isaac Lowe returns, Sahir Iqbal faces Liam Wells, Jordan Reynolds makes his professional debut against Robbie Chapman, Adam Azim is back in action, plus Carl Fail enters the paid ranks for the first time too.
It kicks off a huge 7 days, as on March 19, a massive #MTKFightNight takes place, as Lee McGregor challenges Karim Guerfi for his European bantamweight title, and Maxi Hughes meets Paul Hyland Jnr for the vacant British lightweight title.
The event on March 19 also sees Padraig McCrory face Germaine Brown in a clash of unbeaten super-middleweights, Shabaz Masoud goes up against Louis Norman, Jamie Robinson fights Billy Allington, Paul Ryan makes his professional debut against Kyle Hughes, and William Hamilton returns.