MEXBOROUGH middleweight Stuart Brookes knows there will be more than just his undefeated career on the line when he steps into the ring next weekend, writes Liam Hoden.
The popular fighter will secure a title bout if he can see off the challenge of fellow unbeaten boxer Attila Tibor Nagy at Doncaster’s Dome next Friday night.
Brookes will be lined up against Harry Matthews on September 1 with British Masters gold on the line.
But he is refusing to look beyond Nagy after eight months out of the ring.
He told the Times: “There’s a lot of talk about things that might come after this fight but there’s not way I can take my eye off the ball.
“He’s had three, won three and knocked two out so he’s got something about him.
“I don’t really know anything about him but that’s what you get with lads from abroad.
“I just know I’ve got to get in there and show what I can do and I’m confident I’ll be fine if I can do that.”
A hand injury ruled Brookes out of action earlier this year, meaning he could not build upon last November’s re-debut after three and a half years following the death of younger brother and fellow pro Scott.
The 29-year-old admits November’s bout was all about getting him back in the ring but now he is back in business.
He said: “I just wanted to get in there, get the rust off and get going again.
“It was the first card I’d been on without my brother and it’d had been three years since I’d been in there.
“This time I feel so much better, fitter and stronger than I did.
“I was more ready for this fight half way through the camp than I was when I went to the ring that time.
“My trainers have changed my shape, got me working the jab and establishing it.
“It feels great and I’m confident about what I can do.”
Brookes knows victory next week could start a chain of matches that would allow him to establish himself among the best domestic middleweights.
Potential foe Matthews took the highly-touted Chris Eubank Jnr over the six round distance earlier this month.
Brookes would like a shot at Eubank if he can see off Matthews.
He said: “He’s become a real marquee name and I’d like to get in there with him.
“I’m confident I could do better than anyone has previously.
“I’ve got confidence in my ability and I do believe I can win a Lonsdale belt.
“I want to have challenged for a European title by the time I pack in.”
Brookes will take his usual large and vocal following from Mexborough to the Dome.
Tickets are selling fast and are available by calling 07976328015, priced from £35.