JOEL McINTYRE has set his sights on the British title in 2016 after making a winning comeback.
McIntyre shook off the rust after a year out of the ring, with a routine points win over journeyman Elvis Dube on Friday.
I want 2016 to be the year I become British champion.Joel McIntyre
El Toro took a comfortable success over four rounds against Dube in London.
That showed the light-heavyweight his hand problems were behind him after a successful operation earlier this year.
McIntyre was comfortable against a durable opponent, who came to survive.
Now the 27-year-old is looking to make up for lost time and fire himself into title contention next year.
McIntyre said: ‘I’m glad to be back and I did what I needed to do to get the win.
‘I’m came through with no injuries and the hand felt great.
‘Now I want 2016 to be the year I become British champion.
‘If I was in the light-welterweight division I wouldn’t say that but, in my division, I don’t see a lot.
‘Bob Ajisafe is the champion and is fighting Miles Shinkwin, who I’ve boxed before.
‘That was a great experience, and the only thing I struggled with was my tactics.
‘I started slowly. By the end he was hanging on and I was getting warmed up.
‘I think I’ve got the beating of either of them.
‘There are people like Tony Hill, Hosea Burton and Callum Johnson and probably some up-and-coming talent.
‘There’s nothing to fear’
McIntyre felt the Dube clash served his purpose ahead of a planned contest early in the new year.
He added: ‘My trainer said I may struggle with the distance of my punches, and it did happen.
‘So when I fell short I didn’t panic and got through it.
‘Elvis Dube must have one of the hardest heads in boxing.
‘I’ve heard about people damaging their hands when they hit him, and I was aware of that. So I threw a lot of screwshots.
‘I had great support for this time of year. Now I want to get back out again early in the new year.
‘I’ve had a shadow career so far – now it really starts.’