JACK FLATLEY insists he never wants to be second best ever again.
The Bolton Super-Welterweight is back in action next week less than three months after travelling into European champion Kerman Lejarraga's Bilbao's backyard where he lost in nine rounds.
Flatley (17-2-1,4 KOs) faces Ghanian Daniel Aduku (14-2-1, 10 KOs) over eight rounds at University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday March 12.
Flatley's battling display in front of a hostile crowd against world class Lejarraga won him new fans watching on DAZN and plenty of back slapping plaudits, but it didn't make life easier.
"It still hurts when people come up and say I did well against Lejarraga because in my mind I hate being second," said the 27-year-old.
"I don't want people saying, 'you lost but you did so well. I want to win and take titles because I am a competitive man. A boxer shouldn't be happy saying it was good to take part.
"Don't get me wrong it was great fighting in front of a big crowd and topping a Matchroom show, but at the end of the day I got beat. The competitor I am knows second isn't good enough.
"I was happy to get straight back in a big fight, but I have listened to my coach, Alex Matvienko and my manager Steve Wood. I'm never going against them.
"I have never questioned my heart, but now shown I have the ability and will keep going when it gets tough.
"I'm buzzing to be back. I just want to get back to business in Bolton and not spend time dwelling on stuff.
"It will be a more educated performance when I box next week. I have to think a bit more about what I am doing. That is what I am lacking a bit at times."
Wood and Matvienko know the phone will soon be ringing offering another big fight for Jack, who would love an offer to fight impressive British champion Troy Williamson.
The pair clashed in June 2018 at Manchester Arena and boxed a draw in an eight round war that was a Fight of the Year contender.
Flatley added: “It was a good fight against Troy and it makes sense to challenge him. I have just been in a European title fight. I didn't win, but I have kept in the picture.
"I have shown that I am not afraid to fight anyone. I fought Troy and Lejarraga. They are two of the most feared fighters in Europe."
Sharing top billing with local man Flatley is unbeaten Welterweight Jake James (9-0, 2 KOs) who meets another Ghananian, Joseph Lamptey (26-7-1), 18 KOS
Unbeaten Salford Super-Lightweight Luke Evans (11-0, 1 KO), Manchester Super-Lightweight Kane Gardner and local boxers Lightweight Greg McGuinness (3-0) and Featherweight Liam Gaynor (7-1) are all in six round action.
Stockport Super-Welterweight Rhys Wood (2-0), St Helens Super-Welterweight Johnny Kiely (1-0), and debutant Marcus Tomlinson box four rounders.