Anthony Fowler believes he is entering his prime years under trainer Shane McGuigan, and the former Team GB amateur standout wants to test himself against the biggest names in the 154lbs division to 'see what he's made of'.
'The Machine' progressed to 13-1 (10 KOs) last time out with a punishing seventh round stoppage of the tough and game Adam Harper at Fight Camp, but the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist is confident he is well beyond domestic level and has already expressed his desire to face European Champion Sergio Garcia this year.
Next up for the recently-turned 30-year-old Liverpudlian is a defence of his WBA International Title against Spain's Jorge Fortea this Saturday at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories, and Fowler is expecting a tough night's work.
"I thought I did well in the Harper fight, I knew his style would play into my hands whereas Fortea is tricky and will give me a lot more to think about," said Fowler. "This fight is a good indication of where I’m at. I feel good, I’ve had a short camp but I’m fit anyway so there won't be excuses on the night, I’ll be ready to fight.
"Fortea is a really good fighter, he’s boxed on Canelo’s undercard and gone 12 rounds with the IBF No.1. He’s not the biggest puncher but he’s got good ring IQ and is very tough. I know he is going to make me work for the win. When I beat him I will be ranked in three of the four governing bodies.
"I’m looking to box someone like Sergio Garcia next and then I won’t be far off a World Title fight. You’re only one big win away from a big fight and when I beat Fortea I hope some doors will open. I’m open to boxing Scott Fitzgerald in the summer but I’m not going to wait around for him.
"I feel like I've fully adapted and I'm coming into my own under Shane now. I’m sparring 12 rounds easily and I feel a lot more at home in the ring. I’m coming into my prime now, I’ve just turned 30. I want to get in with the big boys and see what I’m made of. Shane is getting me to be more controlled and professional, if I can stop Fortea it will be a big statement.
"I want to climb the rankings and win belts, starting with a win on March 20. I won’t be surprised if Fortea gets through the rounds as he’s illusive but I want to break him down and hurt him, winning is the most important thing!"