Ricky Hatton has heaped praise on Ashley Theophane, insisting the Kilburn light-welterweight deserves a world title shot.
Theophane, 31, will defend his British title against Darren Hamilton of Bristol at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday after Steve Williams withdrew at short notice because of illness.
It is the second successive fight in which he has had to deal with a change of opponent.
In December he overcame a difficult start and battled his way to an 11th-round stoppage of the rugged Ben Murphy, who was a late replacement for Nigel Wright.
Ex-world champion Hatton, now Theophane’s promoter, declared: “Ashley is an example to all boxers, and just wants to train and fight all comers.
“As soon as Williams pulled out he never once thought about not fighting, because the British title and owning a Lonsdale belt means so much to him. I have nothing but admiration for him.”
Saturday’s fight will be on the undercard of the British heavyweight clash between David Price and Sam Sexton.
It will be Theophane’s third defence of the belt he took from Lenny Daws last year, meaning a victory would see him keep the coveted Lonsdale belt outright and remain on course for a possible world title challenge.
And Hatton, who dominated the light-welterweight division in his heyday, said: “Ashley has done it his way and flown around the world solo just to benefit from top-class sparring and experience in the best gyms.
“He has served his dues and a world title fight is no more than he deserves, but Hamilton is still there to give him a test.”