West Rainton fighter Martin Ward says his British super-bantamweight title fight against James Dickens is a springboard to greater opportunities.
Ward, 27, has won his last four fights at the higher weight following a technical draw with Stuart Hall at bantamweight level.
His opponent on 20 November has also won his last four bouts.
"It's for the British title but also for the number one spot in Europe," Ward told BBC Look North.
"It's a massive catapult forward to world title contention, which is where every fighter dreams to be.
"You can skip a lot of steps on the ladder if I win the fight, that's given me a lot of motivation to go on and win."
The Hall draw, on the back of a huge cut above his eye that brought about an early stoppage to the fight, was a psychological blow to Ward.
"It was a big disappointment, you do all the hard work something you don't expect to happen so early in the fight," he added.
"I was bitterly disappointed, had six months off. I had to put it all behind me, I've started again pretty well and I'm back where I want to be."