Kyle Williams faces an international opponent with the same amount of wins for the vacant WBO European bantamweight title.
He goes for a belt that has previously been contested four times with Sakhib Burasov, Ross Burkinshaw, Ryan Burnett and Prince Patel the previous champions.
The 10-round contest will headline BCB Promotions’ show at the Hangar Events Centre, in Wolverhampton, this Friday October 18. The show has been titled ‘We Are Wolves.’
Williams is one of the city’s own and hails from Whitmore Reans. He’s well known to local fight fans, from his exploits in two sports.
The 27-year-old was a world title holder in kickboxing, winning the ICO crown at featherweight, before switching over three years ago.
He remains involved as an instructor at Fran Zuccala’s Eclipse Kickboxing & Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy, on Tempest Street in Wolverhampton.
The second dan black belt teaches children, teenagers and adults at the same venue where he first learned his own skills since the age of six.
His transition to boxing has yielded Midlands and English honours, with the area strap claimed after he swarmed over Jordan Turner until he retired at the end of round seven.
The national prize was claimed in dramatic style, climbing off the floor in the first round to outpoint gatekeeper Thomas Essomba on a split decision after a compelling battle.
Williams vacated both belts, without a defence, after landing an opportunity at British champion Kash Farooq in April.
Farooq put him down twice on route to a fifth round stoppage. The bout was screened live on BBC Scotland, where viewers watched Williams go down fighting.
The Black Country bantam will now go toe-to-toe with Spain-based Romanian Ionut Baluta, who has 11 wins from 13 pro outings and has never been stopped.
Williams feels ready to rejoin the race after returning to action from the Farooq setback in July, whitewashing Jose Aguilar on points to make it 11 victories from 12 pro bouts.
He said: “I’ve been trying to push for something big and to have that in my hometown again is great. I won the English title in Wolverhampton, so it’s a good omen for me.
“I need this to get myself back on track, because fighting journeymen is not what I’m in the game for. I still believe I can compete at the top level.
“I’ve had an opportunity to go for the British title and I just didn’t fight the right way that night. I’m determined to get a shot at it again.
“I’m thinking about the way to do that, the game is always moving and we’re all bound to crash together again at some point.
“I’ve progressed quickly and I’m staying motivated, because I believe in myself and what I want to achieve.
“I’ve had my comeback and it was a comfortable win. I knew I wasn’t going to get him out of there, but I thought my performance was slick and fluent.
“I was elusive when I was attacking and defending, it was a potential banana skin so it was good to get in there and get the job done.”
Williams and Baluta weigh-in at Casino 36, 56-58 Temple St, Wolverhampton, WV2 4AQ at 1.00pm tomorrow (Thursday). All over 18’s are welcome.
A stacked under-card is expected to produce a host of contests, with most in the home corner Wolverhampton based.
Conah Walker, from Warstones, will have the legendary Ricky Hatton in his corner, as he looks to get back to winning ways at welter after a draw last time out.
Walker and the also unbeaten Ohio Kain Iremiren played out a six-round stalemate, referee Kevin Parker scoring the bout 57-57.
‘The Wolf’ remains after six pro outings, with five wins and two stoppages previously recorded, having graduated from Merridale Boxing Club.
Antony Woolery, of Deansfield, was last a part of the Ultimate Boxxer tournament, which was staged at cruiser, in July.
‘The Bull’ climbed off the floor in the first round of the Prizefighter type event to push Mikael Lawal, who won the competition, to a majority decision defeat.
It was only the third time Woolery has been in a paid ring, bouncing back from losing on his debut to Dmitrij Kalinovskij to vanquish Remigijus Ziausys, both on points.
Sid Bowater ended a two-year exile from pro boxing with an over-the-distance success over ‘Fonz’ Alexander in July.
Bowater, from Wednesfield, took a long break upon conceding his ‘0’ to Nathan Hardy, after three victories in the welter ranks. He’s seen the final bell on every occasion.
Lightweight Clayton Bricknell, another from Whitmore Reans, will be determined to bounce back, after he was outpointed by Tion Gibbs in six-round action last time out.
Bricknell began his pro career with points results over Jamie Quinn and Dylan Draper, before recording a technical draw with Youssef Al Hamidi after his opponent injured himself.
Wolverhampton’s Kirstie Bavington previously contested the WBC International Female super lightweight title with Cherrelle Brown in July.
‘Bavvo’ gamely battled to the end of 10 rounds, but came up short on the scorecards. She’d previously registered two wins (one TKO) and a debut draw.
James Beech Jr, from Bloxwich, is a former Midlands super featherweight champion and never lost the title in the ring.
‘Beechy’ relinquished the area strap at super feather, as part of a plan to come down to super bantam. He’s downed Jake Pollard in a featherweight affair since.
The second-generation fighter is the son of Jimmy Beech, who featured on 31 occasions as a pro. He’s a graduate of Pleck Boxing Club, who he represented 80 times with 50 wins.
BCB’s recent acquisition Shaka Thompson, who is signed to a management deal, appears under their banner for the first time.
There are high hopes for the unbeaten Brummie southpaw, from Selly Oak, who was named Best Newcomer at the British Boxing Board of Control’s Midlands Area awards last year.
He has six points wins in the middleweight division and hasn’t lost a round beating Sean Gorman, Callum Ide, Liam Griffiths, Martin Kabhrel, Jordan Grannum and Paul Cummings.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now. It will be £40 for entry on the door. For more information, contact the boxers, or click here.
For those fight fans who can’t make the show, it is available for $9.99 on Fite.TV.