SKY SPORTS tip for the top Karl Place will step up to eight round level next month.
The unbeaten Manchester light-welterweight faces a selected opponent on Frank Maloney’s card at Houghton-le-Spring’s Rainton Meadows Arena on Saturday April 9.
Place, 22, was named by Sky’s boxing experts as one of their ‘11 of 2011’ and is determined to justify their backing.
He is unbeaten in 12 fights and Maloney and manager Steve Wood believe the youngster will soon be in title contention.
Maloney said: “You can see from recent matches made that prospects are being let off the leash earlier.
“Karl has only been a professional for around two-and-a-half years and he is ready to be pitched in against some of Britain’s best.
“There is no reason why he shouldn’t be thinking of winning British and Commonwealth titles inside the next 12 months.”
After winning 25 of his 34 amateur fights the light-welterweight teamed up with trainer Steve Maylett.
Maylett said: “Karl and my other fighter Terry Flanagan are two of the hardest trainers I have ever worked with; they put 100 per cent into every session. The two lads have a lot of potential."
Place’s fight is the chief support when Darlington’s Stuey Hall (10-0-1) risks his British bantamweight title against Liverpool’s John Donnelly (12-1)
Hall won the British crown against Ian Napa and will win a Lonsdale belt outright if he makes a successful third defence against scouser Donnelly.
Tickets priced £30 and £65 are available 0871 226 1508 or www.frankmaloney.com .