Mark Coombs has been handed an intriguing local derby in his British Masters title shot.
Sparks look set to fly as Coombs meets Isle of Wight hardman Jay Morris at South Parade Pier on September 15.
It’s the toughest assignment yet for Kid Kurylak in the seventh fight of his pro career.
Morris will present a rough, tough opponent after taking on allcomers in a 15-24-3 pro career.
The 34-year-old has fought a number of boxers who have been touted to make an impression in the paid ranks.
And there have been plenty of occasions when he has stopped those prospects in their tracks.
Coombs’ trainer, Michael Ballingall, believes the light-middleweight contest will be a litmus test for the 26-year-old.
Ballingall said: ‘If you look at Jay Morris’ record you can see he is a gatekeeper.
‘He takes on anyone and, if they can come through a contest with him, it shows they have something about them.
‘Jay has fought people who have gone on to win titles and travelled and fought abroad.
‘He has picked up good wins, too – like when he beat Curtis Woodhouse.
‘We’ve seen him get upset wins and he can spoil the script.
‘I’ve known Jay a long time and he’s a proud man.
‘But if Mark has hopes of going somewhere he has to beat him.
‘Jay’s record shows if you are game then you beat him.
‘This is a serious fight and we can’t afford to take him lightly.
‘Jay will have time to prepare himself for this and will be ready.
‘Mark is going to need to be on form to get the win.
‘I think it will be a good, hard contest but he has what it takes to get the victory.
‘It will certainly be a chance to see how far Mark has come.’
Coombs’ title shot will headline a bumper card in Southsea, which will feature a host of the area’s top boxers.
Exciting Dutchman Stephen Danyo makes his pro debut, with the likes of Floyd Moore, Ryan Moore, Johnny Creamer, Danny Couzens, Joel McIntyre, Liam Griffiths, Ben Kneller and Chris Hobbs also appearing.
It will be Coombs that headlines, though, as he steps up to the 10-round distance and boxes for his first pro title.
The contest will be his first since outpointing Andrew Patterson over six rounds in March.
Ballingall said: ‘It’s a worthy Masters title fight and Mark is moving up from six rounds. It marks the next stage of his development.’