TOMMY Coward knows he has lessons to learn as he makes his way in professional boxing.
But the type of fighting spirit he showed in getting up off the canvas to win his last bout is helping to fuel his desire for improvement.
The Swinton light middleweight will return to the ring on May 28 on a televised show at Hillsborough Leisure Centre.
And Coward is determined to learn from his past mistakes to produce a polished performance.
He told the Times: “I’ve taken each fight as a lesson and it’s going to make me better in the long run.
“I’m still going through the transition from amateur to professional really.
“The style isn’t all go like it is in the amateurs but you’re concentration level has got to be really high.”
The 26-year-old admitted a lapse in concentration led to him suffer a knock–down in his last bout in March.
And although he got up and won the fight, he insists he will not put himself in the same position again.
He said: “I know I made a mistake in the fight with Gary Cooper.
“I think I was that comfortable that I started to switch off and I got caught.
“It only takes one shot but luckily I was only stunned.
“I jumped straight back up because I was surprised by it.
“It must have woke me up because I finished really strong.
“I’ll not be switching off again.”
Coward’s progress was halted when a bout of flu denied him the chance to box last month.
He is eager to add another win to his perfect four fight record and trainer Stefy Bull believes his next fight provides a great opportunity.
Stablemate Jamie McDonnell will defend his Commonwealth bantamweight title on the show.
And Bull is encouraging Coward to take the opportunity to impress and join McDonnell on the TV broadcast.
Bull said: “This is a great opportunity for Tommy to make an impression.
“Who knows what might happen if he puts in a performance we all know he can.
“There’s a bit of a buzz around him because he made waves as an amateur and people are keen to see what he can do.
“So if he does the business he can get a lot more exposure through the Sky cameras.”
Bull is pleased with the progress made so far and insists he was only momentarily concerned when Coward was knocked down by Cooper.
He said: “It was a bit alarming when Tommy went down and you do worry about your fighters.
“I’d have liked him to stay down and take the count to compose himself.
“But he was even better and more comfortable after he got up.
“You learn lessons from things like that knock down and I know Tommy has taken it all on board.
“We’re still building Tommy and if all goes well he’ll be stepping up to the next level by the end of the year.”