Middleweight Ermal Dida admits he is challenging himself in sparring as he looks to put himself within title contention within the next 18 months.
The 25-year-old, who currently still works full time in the Criminal Justice sector, had a decorated amateur career which included being a home-counties winner, a semi-finalist in the ABAs as well as having trials for England.
After a points win over the notorious Lewis van Poetsch in his debut and Haroon Karim earlier this month, the Bedford born hitter wants to progress up the domestic division as quick as possible.
He has been sparring the likes of unbeaten Frank Warren prospect Zak Chelli and British title challenger Asinia Byfield as he waits for a date in October.
And Dida admits that despite his team being happy with his recent performance, the plan is still to be within title contention within the next few fights.
He said: “My manager Winston Fuller and I sat down after the fight, he was happy with me performance but as always there’s things that needed to be worked on.
“I am my own worst critic but in fairness I controlled the pace of the fight, my shot selection was good and most importantly I got the win.
“Visibly though you can see I am improving every fight and we are both happy at the rate of improvement.
“I was lucky to have former Southern Area Chapion Kevin McCarthy helping me out for my last camp helping me use his gym in preparation for Karoom.
“We still want to be working towards a Southern Area title fight after 4 or 6 fights, something I am very confident of achieving.
“Every training session I am working harder than ever, I always think that someone may beat you because they are more talented but no one should ever beat because they were fitter.
“I have been sparring super-middleweight Zak Chelli who was a fantastic amateur and helping Asinia Byfield prepare for his British title challenge.
“When you are getting sparring like this, working as hard as I do in the gym, I really think the future is exciting.
After more than 50 fights in the amateurs, I was keen to ask Dida if he had found any noticeable differences between the amateur and professional ranks both in and out of the ring.
“With the amateurs you may get a call and will be told you need to fight and that’s what you go and do however short notice it may be,” he continued.
“I am learning that with the professional side that it’s more of a business. You as a boxer are a business and a brand.
“I have a website and a logo now, I am also starting to engage a lot more on social media. It’s definitely more to think about but I am enjoying it.
“That’s why sponsors are so important, I am lucky to have AC&Co. Grab Hire Ltd. who are my main sponsors but also White Hart Press and IJ The Barber who have both been very good to me.
“You can follow me on Twitter at @ErmalDida and Instagram as @ErmalDidaBoxing – if you follow me I guarantee I’ll follow you back!
“Thanks to everyone that has shown support, bought tickets to my last fight and continues to follow my journey. Without you all none of this would be possible.”