Anthony Crolla claims he is in the best shape of his life as he prepares to return to the ring seven months after being viciously attacked.
The Mancunian fighter suffered a fractured skull, concussion and a broken ankle after being hit with a concrete block when confronting burglars who had entered a neighbour's property last December.
His injuries not only cost him a planned shot at the WBA lightweight title against Richar Abril in January but left him fighting for his career.
The 28-year-old has now made a full recovery and is jumping straight back into top-end action, fighting new title-holder Darleys Perez for the belt he was eyeing earlier this year.
The pair meet in Crolla's home city of Manchester on July 18 and the Briton is relishing the chance to take on the Colombian.
Crolla, speaking after a public workout in the Trafford Centre, said: "I feel fantastic. Both physically and mentally I am in the best shape of my life.
"I made a promise when everything happened that I would come back bigger, better, faster, stronger than ever and that is what I believe I have done. Now it is about showing that next week.
"Some people have asked whether it would have been better to come back in an eight or 10-rounder, a warm-up fight. But I don't believe there are many of those such things in boxing.
"I know how easily world title fights can come and go and there was no way I was going to let this chance slip when I got offered it. It's straight in at the deep end and I believe the timing is right."
Crolla will share top billing on a card at the Manchester Arena that will also feature Bury's Scott Quigg defending his WBA super-bantamweight title against Spain's Kiko Martinez. St Helens fighter Martin Murray, who made a successful super-middleweight debut last month with victory over George Beroshvili, has been added to the card and will take on Croatia's Mirzet Bajrektarevic.