Unbeaten prodigy Frankie Gavin admits he is making up for lost time as he finally bids to win the British title on Thursday.
The 2007 world amateur champion has endured a bumpy start to his career in the paid ranks despite maintaining an unblemished 13-fight record.
The 27-year-old from Birmingham has been blighted by a succession of personal problems outside of the ropes, from bereavement and illness to relationship problems, which he admits have hampered his progress.
However, Gavin insists those issues are resolved and firmly in the past as he prepares to challenge veteran former world champion Junior Witter for the British welterweight title in Bethnal Green.
Gavin had hoped to have bagged the domestic crown long ago and moved onwards and upwards, but instead must simply be grateful to have an opportunity that eluded him for some time.
"It's been frustrating," Gavin (13-0, 10KOs) said.
"Everyone knows about the issues I've been affected by outside of the ring but I've always been 100% committed in the gym.
"The likes of Lenny Daws and Ashley Theophane ducked me when they were British champions and I was trying to get my shot. I'll remember that when I've got the belt and these guys start suddenly calling me out.
"I've got my shot the hard way and am going to take it. Witter's achievements speak for themselves but I feel it's my time."
Gavin added: "I wanted to be here in this position at least a year ago but for whatever reason it didn't happen for me. I've been patient, kept my head and now I'm going to make up for lost time."
Former light-welterweight world champion Witter, 38, has enjoyed an Indian summer to his career of late, earning plaudits for snatching the British Lonsdale belt from Colin Lynes earlier this year.
"I've got the experience, know-how and I've been there, seen it and done it, what has Frankie Gavin done so far?" said the Yorkshireman (41-5, 22KOs).
"People will say that I'm 38 and past it going in against a young challenger like Gavin. "My answer is that I'm still mixing it with the youngsters in our gym and the 18, 19 and 20 year olds and that's keeping me young and fresh."Tags: Junior Witter , Frankie Gavin , Gavin-Witter , Gavin vs. Witter