Peter Till today backed fellow Walsall fighter Martin Gethin to take a huge stride on his road the most successful boxer the town has ever known.
The British lightweight champion steps through the ropes at Walsall Town Hall on Friday night for an IBF world title final eliminator against Ammeth Diaz.
Gethin will be a mandatory defence for the holder of the belt, Mexican Miguel Vasquez, if he can pull off an upset against the visiting Panamanian puncher.
Till, who will be 50 this year, remains a favourite with the town's fight fans and held the Midlands title at the weight, but never managed to win national honours.
His modern-day equivalent, some 30 years his junior, completed a long-chase of the British title in January and could now be propelled onto the world stage.
And Till said: "Martin has got a great chance. If I was a bit younger I would have helped him with his sparring! He’s determined and brave and has a lot of heart.
"I think he will beat Diaz. We are all backing him, anyway. It’s great that a fighter from Walsall is flying the flag for the town.”
Till took in a 52-fight professional career that lasted over a decade but he regretted never landing a British title shot - and the crown that Gethin now holds.
He said: "Martin is doing really well. It’s unbelievable what he’s achieved, really. He did what I failed to do - win the British lightweight title.
“For me, that Lonsdale Belt is the best in the world. I hope he goes out there and takes it all in and gets his chance for a world title shot. I wish him the best of luck. "
Walsall's Christopher Keane, the Midlands cruiserweight champion, takes on IBF International champion for the belt in a 10-round chief support fight.
Wolverhampton super featherweight Des Bowater and West Bromwich welterweight Tom Stokes also make their professional debuts on the under-card.
The West Midlands influence is rounded off by Stafford's Grant Cunningham, the unbeaten middleweight from Moss Pit, who takes on Lithuania's Kirill Psonko.
Tickets for the show, called ‘Ready To Silence The World,’ are priced at £40 and £75 and are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.
The show will also be live and exclusive on BoxNation on Sky Channel 437 and Virgin Channel 546. Join at www.boxnation.com.Subscribe to our Newsletter