Roman Greenberg will be heading for the big time if wins his IBF North American heavyweight title bout against American Cedric Boswell in Atlanta on August 29.
Maidenhead-based Greenberg has been out of the ring since he stretched his 100 per cent record to 27 victories with a points win over Colin Kenna in London last October.
His absence has been partly due to surgery on a troublesome right hand, which Greenberg said had been successful. "I can really punch with it now."
The 26-year-old will need the increased ammunition against Boswell, whom promoter Robert Waterman describes as a real step-up in opponent. "For the first time, some American experts think Roman is the underdog, although of course we don't believe that. He's looked really good in training and he's the lightest he's been for years - 16st 8lbs."
Boswell has a similar record to Greenberg, having won 27 of his 28 contests. "He is my toughest opponent yet," Greenberg said. "He may be 39 but that is not old for a heavyweight. He is good technically and a dangerous puncher.
"But the challenge motivates me and I enjoy fighting in the States. If all goes well, everything goes upwards - meaningful fights against top-ranked opponents and more money."
If Greenberg wins, Waterman looks forward to discussing prime-time fights with the big American TV players Showtime and HBO. "It will be very hard for the top boxing bodies not to rank Roman highly," he pointed out. "I would expect him to be in the IBF top 15."