Rising Aberdeen boxing star Dean Sutherland today warned he aims to prove he is one of the best welterweights in Britain.
The 21-year-old extended his record to nine wins from nine fights with a 59-55 defeat of Lithuania’s Edvinas Puplauskas at the Hilton Treetops Hotel.
Sutherland had hoped to secure a Scottish title showdown with reigning champion Stewart Burt.
However, Burt has rejected three approaches from Sutherland’s camp.
Now Sutherland has set his sights higher and is to contest the first of two Commonwealth title eliminators early next year.
He said: “I am hungry, ambitious and believe I deserve to be up there and recognised as one of the best welterweights in Britain.
“There are bigger and better things to come for me in 2020.”
Sutherland’s management had opened talks with Burt’s team on a possible national clash.
However, Burt is now set to defend his title against another opponent.
Boasting a flawless record, Sutherland has quickly progressed to the level where he is set to fight in eliminators for a potential crack at the Commonwealth title.
That has been sanctioned by the Commonwealth council.
Commonwealth eliminator status was used as a bargaining chip in a bid to land the Scottish title shot with Burt, as that would have been elevated to that status.
With a showdown with Burt now off, Sutherland is scheduled to box in March in a Commonwealth eliminator.
If he triumphs in that Sutherland, aka “Deadly”, will progress to another eliminator in the quest to contest a belt held by Chris Jenkins, who is also the reigning British champion.
Sutherland said: “I want to be pushing for that Commonwealth shot.
“If Burt is not taking that (Commonwealth eliminator) then I will be fighting in March for it.
“We are always knocking on the door for opportunities and I had to knock a couple back for the recent fight.
“We also have the Beach Ballroom for May and will hopefully get something big for that.”
Former multiple weight world kickboxing champion Sutherland topped the bill at the Treetops where Northern Sporting Club’s Billy Stuart impressed in extending his flawless record to 10 wins from 10 outings.
Sutherland, who could be back in the ring as early as January, believes the talent in Aberdeen should be recognised nationally.
He said: “There is talent like myself and Billy Stuart coming through now. We also have Kristen (Fraser) who is Commonwealth champion.
“There is real talent in Aberdeen so big shows will be put on.
“I really believe that with a big title up for grabs the people of Aberdeen will come out in force. Not just Scotland but the UK needs to take notice of the talent up here.”
Sutherland’s impressive start to his pro boxing career has not gone unnoticed, with offers of sparring with top talent.
In the build-up to the six-round bout with Puplauskas he was invited to spar with former European, British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Sam Eggington.
Eggington, 26, is the IBF International super-welterweight champion.
Sutherland said: “I was down in Birmingham and was supposed to spar with Eggington.
“Unfortunately he had to pull out once I was down there as he had a swollen elbow.”
Sutherland was also approached by undefeated super-lightweight Sam Maxwell to spar ahead of his WBO European title defence against Connor Parker later this month.