Jamie Conlan looks set to put months of frustration behind him by winning the Commonwealth Super Flyweight title at the Odyssey on February 9.
The Belfast fighter will face champion Yaqub Kareem of Nigeria on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s European title fight against Kiko Martinez.
Conlan has been inactive since January this year when he beat Elemir Rafael on points in Liverpool.
The former St John Bosco amateur was supposed to fight on the Paul McCloskey bill at the King’s Hall in May and then on the Frampton show at the Odyssey in September but he had to pull out of both events because of illness and injury.
Now Conlan is looking to get 2013 off to a flying start against Kareem at the Belfast venue.
“Last year started really well for me and then it went totally downhill.
“I had to withdraw from the McCloskey bill because of illness and then I trapped a nerve in my neck a week before the Frampton bill.
“I was totally gutted and I even thought about never boxing again.
“I was really low, but I spoke to my trainer John Breen and he made me realise how much I love boxing.
“So I have been training away and I am back on February 9 at the Odyssey,” he added.
And what was Conlan’s feelings when he heard the news that he would be fighting for the Commonwealth title?
“I am over the moon. I am still buzzing and I can’t wait to get in there.
“I always knew that I was on the Odyssey show, but I found a week ago they were trying to get the Commonwealth title, and then I got the news that it had been agreed.
“Eddie Hearn deserves loads of credit for getting me the fight and I will not let him down.
“I don’t know much about Kareem, apart that he can punch.
“I am really up for this fight and to win the Commonwealth title will get 2013 off to a flying start,” said Conlan.
And Conlan - unbeaten so far as a professional - is looking forward to fighting on the Odyssey card.
“It is a fantastic bill to be part of. The Frampton versus Martinez fight will be a cracker. They are both great boxers and it could be ‘Fight of the Year.
“And Martin Lindsay against Lee Selby is also a fantastic fight. It could be another contender for ‘Fight of the Year.’ And Andy Lee could also be on the show. It is a fantastic bill and I am delighted to be fighting on a card like this,” said Conlan.