AS KELVIN Young prepares to face Tomas Kugler on Friday night, a route is already being plotted to world title glory.
With the IBO intercontinental belt around his waist, the Penhill puncher, whose title is not up for grabs in the eight-round contest at the Oasis Leisure Centre, cannot afford to take Kugler lightly.
Lose and it is back to the drawing board, win and it is full steam ahead.
In a world of alphabet titles, the IBO strap may not be held in the highest regard, yet heavyweight king Wladmir Klitschko and middleweight knockout specialist Gennady Golovkin hold the belts for their respective divisions.
Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao have also held belts from the IBO, so the route that Young, trainer Richard Farnan and manager Keith Mayo are taking could see them sitting among boxings elite.
Should Young come through his Czech Republic opponent unscathed, the 26-year-old is likely to defend his IBO title in the summer and then the autumn before eyeing a shot at the main crown, which is currently held by South African Thomas Ousthuizen.
Trainer Farnan said: “We are looking at June 7 when he will defend the title.
“We are already looking at opponents for that date, so everything has to go right on Friday night.
“We are trying not to put any pressure on him, but he cannot lose. Then we have got June 7 when we defend the title, got through that defence well, then we will have a second defence of the title in hopefully October.
“For that we would like an IBO ranked opponent in the top 35, do that, win that - with the intercontinental title - that then puts Kelvin in a position as mandatory for the world title.
“That is the path we are looking at. These next three fights are so important.
“But this eight round fight, he has got to look superb, he’s got to be sharp, if he can get the kid out of there then even better.
“The main thing is to win every single round, not give anything away and look impressive.”
Farnan believes that they have had one of the best training camps they’ve had since he joined forces with Young for this bout with Kugler.
Now of course, most trainers, and boxers, will tell you that, and come fight night the fruits of those labours will be seen.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
“Sam Couzens, the first fight, there were issues that happened towards the end of the camp.
“Kelv picked up concussion basically, no excuses, the board found about it, we made a mistake.
“In hindsight, we all learnt from that – he shouldn’t have boxed that night. We should have pulled him out, I learnt from that, Kelv learnt from that and we wont make that mistake again.
“We had a good camp (for the Alexey Ribchev fight).
“We did encounter a problem which was three weeks before. Kelvin peaked and went over.
“It was a nightmare, but it was another part of the learning curve.
“You need these things so that you learn in the future, that is why this one has been timed perfectly.”