Exciting welterweight prospect Lewis Crocker will move up a level when he returns to the ring against Germany's Denis Ilbay in Dubai on March 12.
Crocker is part of couple of bills in Dubai featuring top Irish fighters, starting with fellow Belfast man Sean McComb meeting Gavin Gwynne for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title. Former WBC international light-welterweight champion Tyrone McKenna will also be on the show when he faces unbeaten Zhankosh Turarov of Kazakhstan.
Crocker made a good domestic statement in his last bout with Louis Greene in August, picking up the WBO European title which he will defend on March 12 against Ilbay over 10 rounds.
Ilbay has two defeats in 24 fights and one of those losses is arguably the most notable fight on his record. The German went the distance with Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who subsequently went on to challenge WBO World welterweight champion Terence Crawford, one of the top five pound for pound fighters on the planet.
Having gone the distance with Kavaliauskas, the German looks an ideal test for 24-year-old Crocker, who has gained a lot of interest since that stoppage win over Greene.
Manager Jamie Conlan commented: "Suddenly everyone was talking about Lewis after that win. I had a lot of promoters showing interest in him, including Eddie Hearn and this could be a very big year for him."
Lightweight McComb will be relieved to have his fight with Gwynne back on after it was postponed due to the British Boxing Board of Control's coronavirus restrictions this month.