Newly-crowned champion Stephen Fulton insists he will crush the world title aspirations of Belfast man Michael Conlan when they meet later this year.
Fulton lifted the WBO world super-bantamweight title last weekend with a fine performance, dethroning Angelo Leo on points in a highly entertaining scrap. While the Philadelphia fighter insists he is not sure what happens next, unbeaten Conlan is on his radar as the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt.
Conlan, who is moving down from featherweight to super-bantam, is expected to return to the ring in April and then move ahead to a showdown with Fulton - possibly in Belfast this summer if fans are allowed to return to sporting events.
Fulton is, naturally, eager to cash in on his world title success and a mooted unification fight would be attractive but such is the box office appeal of Conlan in the States, where all his bouts are live on cable sports giant ESPN, the 26-year-old would receive the biggest pay day of his career in a duel with the two-time Olympian.
Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, Fulton said: "A fight with Conlan would be a good fight but I know I would be victorious. I'm not sure what will be next - I'd like to unify the titles and would love a fight with the winner of the fight being talked about between WBC champion Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa. So I'm not sure when the Conlan fight will happen but when we do face each other I'm looking forward to it.
"It's a fight I know I'll win. He thinks it will be easy and that's what a lot of my opponents believe until they get in with me. They underestimate my power and my boxing ability.
"Whatever it takes, I will have my hand raised at the end of the fight. Conlan hasn't fought the level of competition that I've fought so I'm very confident about the fight. I don't care where it's held, I'm the champion so I feel it should be in America but wherever my team say it will be I'll go along with that."
While he seeks to halt the rise of one Belfast man, Fulton says that another - Carl Frampton - has been a significant factor in his world title success. The Jackal has worked with Fulton on three occasions, using him as a sparring partner for his bouts with Nonito Donaire in 2018 and Tyler McCreary a year later, as well as for his aborted bout in Philadelphia in 2019.
Fulton surprised champion Leo at the weekend with his relentless output as up to that point he was generally regarded as an economic, clinical boxer and he points to Frampton as the man who helped him execute the successful game plan.
"Carl has helped me a lot and when we worked together he worked at me like a dog, putting me under pressure and I learned from that. What he did to me in those spars, I was able to put into my arsenal and use it against Leo," said Fulton.
"I watched how he went about things in camp, I learned from him in the ring and I also learned about the boxing business from him because we talked a lot.
"He gave a lot of advice, even about the kind of fights to take at certain stages of my career, so I'm very grateful for the help he gave me.
"In the fight with Leo I knew that he was going to bring a lot of aggression and that I had to go in there and throw a lot of punches but I have to admit that I even surprised myself with just how many I threw. I've come up the hard way and that stood to me in the fight. Now I want to have some big fights and enjoy being a champion."
One of those big nights will be against Conlan sometime this year, whether in Belfast or Stateside, and it promises to be a thriller.