Theophane wants Bradley or Morales

Kilburn’s Ashley Theophane says he is determined to challenge for a world title within the next 12 months.

Theophane, 31, is due to defend his British light-welterweight crown against Nigel Wright later this year and then wants a crack at Timothy Bradley or Mexican great Erik Morales.

American Bradley, the WBO champion, is unbeaten in his 27 fights and has been mooted as a possible opponent for Britain’s Amir Khan, who holds the WBA and IBF belts.

Morales is 35 and considered past his best, but is the WBC champion and still  a big name in the sport having won titles in four weight divisions and been involved in classic fights against fellow Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera.

And Theophane is convinced his recent link-up with promoter Ricky Hatton – himself a former light-welterweight world champion – will pave the way for a shot at the big time.

He said: “Ricky was the king of the 140lb division and he has passed the mantle over to me. I want to fight the world’s best and Ricky can make that happen.

“Over the next 12 months I want to win the Lonsdale belt outright and fight Erik Morales or Timothy Bradley for the world title.”

The fight against Wright will be Theophane’s second defence of the title he won by outpointing Lenny Daws at Wembley in February and retained by stopping Welshman Jason Cook at the same venue in June.

He is currently training in the United States, where his sparring partners have included former welterweight world champion and one-time Hatton opponent Luis Collazo.

“I feel with Ricky Hatton behind me, I can achieve anything,” Theophane added.

“Ricky believes in my talent and I feel like he can get me a shot at the world title. He has been where I want to go on the world scene.”