A shot at the World Thai Boxing title for Wolverhampton's Michelle Newell on Sunday, March 15, has more than made up for the disappointment of having had her last two fights cancelled.
The super-fit 37-year-old, who faces Lucy Mairot, from Toulouse, France, is top of the bill on a big night of martial arts action at Wolverhampton Racecourse.
Newell was due to fight at the Civic Hall, in November, followed by a contest in Australia, but through no fault of her own, both bouts fell through. Now, with an unexpected chance of becoming World Champion, she's determined to make the most of it.
"Thai Boxing is my passion, my everything," said Newell from her training camp at the Firewalker Health Club, where she also works as a fitness instructor.
"It's been my dream to be world champion, and I want to make that dream come true," she added.
Equally hell bent on capturing the vacant World Super-Atomweight title (110lbs/50.5kg) is Newell's highly regarded opponent, 28-year-old Lucy Mairot, two-time World Amateur Champion.
"I don't know much about her, and I don't want to know," continued Newell.
"I know there's pressure on me and that I'm the underdog, but I'll blank it all out when I get in the ring.
"I've always had to fight against heavier opponents, but at last I'm going in there at my natural weight, and that makes me feel good."
Headliner Newell is supported by a strong support bill on March 15, including Whitmore Reans' teenage prospect Kerrith Bhella, and Firewalker's undefeated Bulgarian prospect Ivan Damyanov.
Bhella, aiming for a place in the British top 10, takes on Woking's Phil Pullen in what is certain to be an explosive encounter.
The March 15 World Championship Thai Boxing show at Wolverhampton Racecourse starts at 6.30pm (doors open at 5.30pm).
Tickets are available from The Firewalker Health Club (01902 311800), or from Wolverhampton Racecourse (01902 390029), with tickets priced from £22 (adults), £12 (children) and VIP (£50)...SUPL: