Thomas Essomba is to fight for his first professional title at the Summer Rumble – in just his fourth pro appearance.
The unbeaten Sunderland star will face Hungary’s Robert Kanalas for the newly-created British Promoters Association Classic Challenge flyweight belt on Sunday, July 5.
Manager and promoter Phil Jeffries believes Essomba will fight for the Commonwealth crown this year and says a win over the Hungarian over 10 rounds at the Stadium of Light will move him a significant step closer.
“I have high hopes for Thomas,” he said, “I am expecting to get Thomas a Commonwealth title shot in the next two fights and him to be knocking on the door for a world title this time next year.
“I think boxing for a title like this, in only his fourth fight, shows just how highly I rate him.
“I do think he’ll go all the way to the top and this is an important fight.”
Essomba settled on Wearside after staying in the UK following the 2012 Oympics in London, where he represented his native Cameroon.
He made it to the top as an amateur and Jeffries he will do the same in the paid ranks.
The clash with Kanalas at the Stadium of Light is a must-win contest for Essomba.
It is not going to be easy either – his 23-year-oldrival has lost only twice in 11 bouts and clinched all but two of his nine victories inside the difference.
“It’s a hard fight,” admitted Jeffries. “But as the promoter I want tough bouts which people want to come and watch. The lad’s costing a few quid to get him here and pay him his purse.
“He’s got a good record and knocked seven of them out.
“Kanalas has been a former world champion, not one of the high-ranked belts, but still a title winner.
“I’m expecting a good fight.
“But I’m expecting a good win. Thomas has been doing two sessions a day and has been away sparring with Kal Yafai and Paul Butler and more than held his own.”