JACK Flatley hopes a successful English title defence in front of his home crowd will take him to the next level.

The Farnworth favourite puts his super-welterweight belt on the line against Harry Scarff tonight, with the action from the University of Bolton Stadium live on Channel 5.

After winning the title after a thrilling battle with Craig Morris in May, Flatley now wants to prove beyond doubt that he belongs with the best in Britain at 154lb.

“I’m not looking past this fight one bit, but next year I want to be in the mix for British and Commonwealth titles,” said Flatley, unbeaten in 16 fights as a professional.

“I’m a stone’s throw away and I’ve got to win on Saturday night.

“I think I’m good enough to be fighting for the British title and now I’ve just got to push to get in that position.

“I want to be in the mix.”

Fighters on the packed VIP Boxing bill were given the added boost with the news that they would be starring on free-to-air TV.

For Flatley, who has appeared on subscription channel BoxNation in the past, it represents a chance to announce himself to a wider audience.

The 24-year-old believes tonight’s card tops May’s outing at the same venue which featured his English title win and that of fellow Bolton fighter Jack Cullen.

“I’ve been on BoxNation a couple of times but I’ve never been on freeview TV like this,” he said.

“It’s going to be a good experience and more exposure and it’s in my hometown as well.

“It’s going to be a massive night.

“(Manager) Steve Wood’s last show in Bolton was massive but with Channel 5 getting on board I honestly think this one tops it.”

Flatley heads into battle expected to come out on top.

Scarff has won all seven of his fights but has never faced someone with the pedigree of the Elite Boxing-trained fighter.

“It’s a step up in experience and class for him,” said Flatley.

“He’s never even gone beyond six rounds.

“He’s a good fighter though and although I’m the favourite on paper there’s no chance I’m going to overlook him. I’ve trained like I’m fighting for a world title.

“I always believe I’m the underdog and that’s what gives me the drive in training.”

Flatley’s build-up to fight night included appearing on the pitch at half-time of Wanderers’ game against Sunderland, something that was a real honour for the boyhood fan.

“With the way the football club are doing things are looking good for the town,” he said.

“I supported them as a kid and drifted away a bit when I had to focus on boxing. But being invited out on the pitch was a big thing for me.”

Coverage on Channel 5 starts at 9pm.