Blackpool’s British boxing champion Matty Askin is anticipating a busy 2018 after getting the green light from his surgeon to return to the ring.
The 28-year-old cruiserweight tore a tendon in his right shoulder while sparring and was forced to withdraw from his scheduled title fight with Stephen Simmons back in October.
The bout against Simmons, which was pencilled in for the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh, would have been the first defence of his title.
Askin has returned to sparring and this week took to Twitter to reveal he had received the thumbs up from his surgeon to fight again – and it is that fight against Simmons that he is targeting upon his return.
“I think that’s the fight people want to see because I’m number one and he’s number two in Britain, so it makes sense,” Askin told The Gazette.
“I know he’s been made mandatory as well now, so that fight has to take place by April. But hopefully we can get it on before then.
“I’ve been sparring over the last few weeks and the shoulder has held up really well. I think 2018 is going to be a big year and we’ve got some big news to announce soon.
“I’ve tried not to look at the injury as a negative – maybe it was a blessing in disguise.”
Askin, who was previously the English champion, has won 22 bouts out of 26.
He won the vacant British title in May, when he stopped Craig Kennedy in six rounds at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. As big as an achievement as that was, Askin refuses to rest on his laurels and is looking forward to picking up even more titles.
“I’m looking at three or four fights in 2018, 12-round fights as well,” he added.
“As long as I keep winning, that’s the main thing but I definitely want to keep busy.
“That Lonsdale belt is a hell of an achievement but I want to be targeting European and world titles.
“That’s something I think I can target next year, so if I get past Simmons I want to be out again in May, and then if everything goes to plan I can challenge for a world title after that.”
The cancellation of October’s fight will have also been a disappointment to Simmons, who is five years Askin’s senior at 33.
He has won 18 of his 20 professional fights and was bidding to become Scotland’s first-ever British cruiserweight champion.
He picked up the European title in his last fight after overcoming Simon Barclay with an unanimous victory.