Luke Wilton is facing a make-or-break fight at the Manchester Arena when he meets English prospect Charlie Edwards in their British title eliminator tonight.
The east Belfast man has been out of the ring since May 2014 due to a mixture of injuries and boxing politics and at 28 he needs a victory to reignite his career.
Having gone the distance with Kevin Satchell in a British and Commonwealth title fight in 2013, Wilton's performance suggested he would be quickly back into contention but he has endured a frustrating period.
"I have to take this chance at this stage of my career - I thought I would have been fighting again for the British title before now," said Wilton.
"I've been out for over a year so it does feel like this fight is make-or-break. It doesn't help that Welsh, Scottish and English fighters seem to get many more opportunities than the guys from Northern Ireland.
"It always seems that the lads from here have to work harder for their chances and when they come around they have to grab them - whereas the guys across the water get second and third chances.
"I feel very confident, training could not be going any better and I will go in knowing that I have been the distance with the best flyweight in Britain, Kevin Satchell."
Edwards has no doubt he will leave Wilton's career in limbo after victory in their 10-rounder.
"I feel Luke is made for me," said Edwards. "Luke is an experienced fighter who has been in Kevin Satchell and more recently Lee Haskins but I believe I'll beat him comfortably."