By Mark Sleightholm

FARNWORTH boxer Jack Flatley wants the English title by the end of the year and hopes his upcoming fight at the Bolton Whites Hotel will set him up for a title challenge in May.

Unbeaten in 14 professional outings, the 24-year-old is keeping himself busy with fights in the North West, but has his sights firmly on the English title and beyond.

A potential title eliminator next month fell through and he missed out on a chance to challenge last year, but Flatley now hopes to box for the title in May.

His next fight is on March 9 at the Bolton Whites Hotel, although his opponent has yet to be confirmed.

“I love fighting in my home town,” he said ahead of what will be his fifth fight at the venue. “It’s nice and local so I can get lots of people down there from my gym and my friends can be there.

“It’s good to walk into the ring and see people you know. If it does get hard it all helps.”

Flatley trains at Elite gym in Halliwell and wants to keep himself busy for any opportunity to fight for the English title.

“If anything comes up title-wise I’ll be ready to grab it with both hands,” he said. “If I wait until May I might be a bit stale. I want to keep on my toes.”

Next month's fight will be Flatley’s second in the light-middleweight division, having dropped down from middleweight last year.

He hopes he can hit the top in his new class and admits: “I probably should have done it a couple of years ago.”

He is ranked 11th domestically in the division, but is aiming to be comfortably inside the top 10 before the end of the year.

Since turning professional in 2015 Flatley has won 13 of his 14 fights, with one draw against Troy Williamson last June.

He hopes an English title will put him in line for the British title, which would be a significant step towards the world stage.

“I’m taking it one step at a time but I definitely want an English title by the end of the year, and hopefully I’ll be working towards the British title by that point as well,” he said.