Ricky Burns wants to prove himself as the best super-featherweight in the world by winning the coveted Ring Magazine belt after extending his WBO title reign this weekend.
The Scotsman continued his recent run of form with a bizarre first-round stoppage of former champion Nicky Cook in Liverpool last night as the Londoner suffered a back injury within 10 seconds which ultimately led to him being hospitalised with a prolapsed disc.
It was the third successful defence of Burns' alphabet title but the accolade he really wants is the Ring belt, an unofficial title which cuts through boxing politics to recognise the best man in each division.
The belt is currently without an owner but with Burns number two in the Ring ratings, he knows a fight with number one Mzonke Fana would give him the chance to fulfil his dream.
"The Ring Magazine belt is the one I've always wanted," he said.
"We've been talking about the fight with Fana since just after I beat Roman Martinez to win the WBO title so I've got my fingers crossed that hopefully we can pull that off.
"It would be a dream come true fighting for that belt because it's the belt I've always wanted to have.
"I grew up watching all the Rocky films and that's the main reason, I want that Rocky belt!"
Coatbridge favourite Burns felt for his travelling band of fans as they were treated to just a minute and 33 seconds of action as Cook attempted to struggle on despite aggravating an apparently long-standing back problem.
"I was prepared for 12 hard rounds and I was going to keep the pressure on from the start and when I got the chance I was going to be burying the body shots in there," said Burns.
"We've been working on that a lot, especially on the body belt, and again I just seem to be getting better and better with every fight.
"Once again I'll have a couple of days off and be straight back in the gym and hopefully we'll get me moving on."
Burns' trainer Billy Nelson is similarly keen to test himself at the highest level.
"We've got the best promoter in the world in Frank Warren. He's the man who can get the fights and we believe he will actively try to get us this fight next time."
Burns' record of 32-2 with only nine stoppage wins suggests he possesses only modest punch power but in reality the affable Scot boasts new-found nastiness in his shots while training under Nelson.
He said: "I'm like a kid with a new toy at the moment. I think people do underestimate me, I'm really big for the weight but all the power has come recently.
"We've been working on a lot of things in the gym like sitting down on punches and going forward a lot more, getting more aggressive and then in sparring we've been looking for that intensity.
"Against Cook I knew he had been out for so long I wanted to set a fast pace and bury the body shots but that first one caught him clean, it was a peach."
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