RYAN Aston says he is more than ready to claim the first title of his professional career.
The 21-year-old Dudley middleweight, one of the hottest young prospects in the division, faces Nottingham’s Curtis Valentine for the Midland Area title at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night.
It is the first time Aston, who is unbeaten in seven contests since turning pro, has had to train for a 10-round fight.
But he is confident of victory against Valentine, who has lost two of his six pro bouts but scored knockouts in three of his four wins.
He said: “He is a single shot power puncher but I think he is very predictable in in the shots he throws and how he throws them.
“I’ve seen two or three of his fights on video, he does not really come forward in bursts.
“That said, this is still a big step up for me going to ten rounds. The training has gone really, really well and I’m more than ready for it.”
He added: “Winning the title will be a bit of a stepping stone, it puts you up there and gives you a boost. It lets people know you are serious and in the sport to win titles.”
The fight is on the undercard of Sheffield fighter Kell Brook’s defence of his IBF International welterweght title against Carson Jones though as a professional Aston has been no stranger to fighting on the big shows.
His second fight took place on the undercard of David Haye’s clash with Vladimir Klitschko last July, while since signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sports last autumn he has fought on bills topped by Brook and Carl Froch.
The Dudley man is loving every minute.
He said: “Matchroom have put me in some really big venues and it’s great to be part of what they are doing.
“I know every time there is a show I will be on it, which is absolutely brilliant."