Rising undefeated welterweight star Dean Sutherland has confirmed he is targeting a title shot this summer.
The 20-year-old has made a sensational start to his professional boxing career since switching disciplines from kickboxing.
A former multiple world kickboxing champion, Sutherland has racked up a flawless boxing record of four wins from four, including two victories inside the distance.
Sutherland was today set to face Jordan Grannum at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.
He will then go again at the Trump Turnberry hotel on March 2 against an as yet unconfirmed opponent.
Sutherland confirmed a first pro boxing title shot could be looming on the horizon later this year if he maintains his rapid ascent up the rankings.
He said: “I have been speaking to my manager and it looks like we could have something set up for early summer, with a possible title fight if everything goes well in my next couple of fights.
“That is a great incentive to make sure I do not only just get good wins in the next two fights but also produce strong performances as well.”
Southpaw Sutherland goes into today’s bout with considerable momentum having defeated highly-rated Vinny Atkins, who boasted a record of five wins and one defeat.
He said: “Atkins had two stoppages back to back and was ranked 32 in Britain and I was 72.
“I only found out who I would be facing 11 days before the fight.
“It was only supposed to be a four-round fight but Vinny said it had to be six rounds, he wouldn’t do a four rounder.”
Ultimately it became a one-rounder as Sutherland stopped Atkins inside 60 seconds to further underline his growing credibility within the pro ranks.
He said: “I have been moving up the rankings a lot faster than I ever expected.
“My end goal was to be knocking on the door of the top 20 by the end of 2019.
“To be sitting roughly around there already just as the year has started is really exciting.
“I am not going to rush anything this year but will start to push towards bigger fights for myself.”
Such is Sutherland’s ascending reputation, he is being lined up to spar with former Commonwealth welterweight champion Sam Eggington.
A former WBC international title holder and European welterweight title contender, Eggington is set to face recently deposed WBO world super-welterweight champion Liam Smith at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, on March 30.
Sutherland said: “My manager is already looking at getting Sam Eggington lined up for some sparring down there.
“Eggington is set to fight former world champion Liam Smith so hopefully I can get down and get some rounds in with him before his fight.”
The first priority, however, is seeing off Grannum, whose record of four wins, 43 losses and one draw fails to do justice to a durable opponent.
“He is a very tough journeyman who won a couple of titles as an amateur,” said Sutherland, who has recently secured sponsorship from Arnold Clark.
“Grannum may have been beaten numerous times during his boxing career but he has never been stopped.
“It is a tough challenge as he has faced good fighters on his fight resume that may have beaten him – but only on points.
“I will go in, relax and loosen up the cobwebs before the fight at Turnberry next month.
“However, I also want to put in a strong, impressive performance.
“If a knockout comes, or I hurt him at any moment, then I will be ready to go for it.”