Kell Brook believes he is on the verge of becoming British boxing's next superstar as he edges towards world title glory.
The unbeaten Sheffield welterweight has seen his profile soar in the last year as his slick and powerful fighting style has captured the public's imagination.
The 26-year-old is biding his time for a title shot as he works his way into a mandatory challenger position and he can move a step closer with victory over dangerous American Carson Jones at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night.
The two meet in an eliminator for the IBF title with the winner moving to within one final step of a crack at the belt. Brook knows an impressive win against Oklahoma native Jones will give his reputation across the Atlantic a real boost too.
"The Americans are starting to hear about me now and so I want to be making a statement in this fight and taking care of Carson in style," he said.
"They are talking about me along with their elite fighters over there and saying 'this English kid, he's a force to be reckoned with'.
"It's looking like I could be British boxing's next superstar. Sky love me and it's all there for me.
"It's up to me to get that title and do Britain proud, to go over there to other people's backyards and really take them by storm."
Jones is perceived in Britain as another stepping stone towards Brook's world title shot but the heavy-handed Oklahoma man is ranked higher by the IBF and has just as much reason for optimism.
Whereas Brook has won all of his 27 fights, Jones' record is far from unblemished. The American suffered eight defeats earlier in his career but after coming up the hard way, has won his last eight by stoppage.
And while Brook dislikes the 25-year-old, he respects his fistic achievements.
"This is a chance to earn even more recognition by beating a guy who is well respected even if he isn't well known over here," he said.
"He's been sparring with top fighters, he's had the training, he's turned his career around.
"He's above me in the ratings and we know he is probably going to be my toughest fight to date."
Brook is fifth in the IBF ratings while Jones is third. The winner at the Motorpoint Arena tomorrow must then square off with number four Hector Saldivia for the right to challenge for the title, recently won by Randall Bailey.
Jones insists his defeats will actually prove to be the making of him in the long run.
He said: "I've come through the hard way and I know the ins and outs and what it takes. I know I'm getting in his head and I think that has something to do with his maturity levels.
"I'm a better fighter because of the hard times. You learn more from losses than you do from wins. He's been hand-fed all of his opponents while I've had to come through the hard way. As a result, I've learned a lot and am a better fighter and a better man for that."
A stellar undercard sees Welsh success story Kerry Hope defend his European middleweight title against the man he won it from, Poland's Grzegorz Proksa, and countryman Gavin Rees puts his European lightweight belt on the line against Derry Mathews.
Former Olympian Kal Yafai makes his professional debut at bantamweight against Delroy Spencer.
Tags: Kell Brook , Brook-Jones , Brook vs Jones