Wade Ryan's new loftier station in boxing has been framed by his trainer, who says the Gunnedah fighter will be "one step closer to a world title" if he wins his upcoming bout.
Ryan will meet undefeated Gold Coaster Ben Mahoney for the vacant International Boxing Organisation intercontinental super welterweight title, on the undercard of the Tim Tszyu-Takeshi Inoue contest on November 17.
Rewind two years, and David Syphers, the only trainer Ryan has known, dealt with the aftermath of a second straight loss and a third loss in four fights, or a ninth defeat in 16 career fights.
The 31-year-old's emergence from his lockdown lay-off has been inspiring: a trifecta of wins and his last two fights staged - and won via TKO - on Tszyu undercards at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
Serious televised spotlight for a fighter who had a split-decision victory over Troy O'Meley at the Cessnock Bowling Club last December, to claim an international belt and the super welterweight national title - his first Australian belt.
The two stoppages followed, including against O'Meley in his last bout.
"We're confident he's gonna win," Syphers said of the Mahoney bout. "But it's gonna be a tough fight."
A retired Muay Thai fighter, Mahoney is undefeated in 11 bouts with six inside the distance. In his last contest, at the Gold Coast Entertainment Centre in April, he had a unanimous points victory over Kris George (14-1-0 at the time).
"It's a step closer to something big," Syphers said of the bout.
"He's strong," he added of his charge. "We're just stepping it up now."
It was the first time, the trainer said, that Ryan had benefited from having promotion muscle behind him (No Limit Boxing). "They've realised that Wade's got potential, so they're doing something with us."
We're confident he's gonna win.David Syphers
He added: "So far it's been a good year. Let's finish it off with an even better year."
The venue is yet to be confirmed.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: