IT MAY only be six weeks into the new year but Edinburgh boxer Stephen Simmons has already set his sights on ending 2013 as a British or Commonwealth champion.
The Cruiserweight fighter faces Serbian opponent Jovan Kaludjerovic in Glasgow tonight in what he concedes is just a “warm-up” with promoter and manager Alex Morrison keen to keep Simmons on his toes.
The 28-year-old feels physically and mentally prepared after benefiting from some intense training in the warmer climate of Lanzarote over the past few weeks.
“This is just going to be a warm-up really,” Simmons said. “Alex wants to keep me busy, but I want to be looking at titles this year given the opportunity if everybody stops avoiding me in England.
“I want to be fighting for a Commonwealth or British title this year and I know I will win it as I’m ready to be competing at that level. It was great training in the heat in Lanzarote and the running has taken my fitness up to another level. I felt a lot happier over there and it really lifted the spirits.”
Simmons has so far displayed an impeccable record in his short professional career, winning all six of his previous contests in the ring. The 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist believes he has suitably adjusted since making the step from amateur to professional in early 2011 and is ready to make his mark.
Simmons added: “I had a great amateur career and was fortunate enough to box for Scotland and was captain of the Great Britain side where I had a lot of experience of boxing at the top level.
“I had a bit of a pro style anyway, so it has been quite easy for me to adapt to the professional game. I am now ready to start getting the bigger fights.”