JASON Curtis is aiming to be one of the top five kick boxers in the country at middleweight after successfully defending one of his English titles.
The 34-year-old two times English champion took on previously unbeaten challenger Sam Johnson in Middlesbrough.
Johnson, who had knocked out his last six opponents, couldn't compete and Jason came away with his ISKA English middleweight title in tact in his first defence.
And now he will put his English WAKO pro title on the line in December in Derby and, should he win that, he will move into the top five in the country and challenge for a British title.
"I want to be number one," said Jason, who only took up the sport five years ago after years of Martial Arts. "The two best middleweight kick boxers in the country are Fran Zucala who was beaten on points in a world title fight recently and John Orchard, who has a bad nose injury and is out for 18 months.
"There is every chance I can, in the next couple of years, get up there.
"If I can successfully defend my WAKO title in December, the fight is also an eliminator for a British title fight and I do feel really confident.
"I do wish I had taken up the sport around seven years sooner but there is nothing I can do about it and in boxing and kick boxing most of the top fighters are in their mid 30s."
Jason's last fight was one of his hardest against Johnson, of the Scorpion Gym in Newcastle, who had plenty of vocal support among a capacity crowd of around 800.
But Jason, who runs the Jag Martial Arts school at Hyndburn Sports Centre, stood firm - and dominated the fight in strength and technique.
"The fight went the distance - I haven't had many which have gone the distance but I just felt strong and confident," he said.
"I only took it on short notice but I wanted to show what I can do as I do feel fit. It was really tough, though.
"Sam showed great character after the fight and was respectful and complimentary as were his supporters.
"And I want to thank my wife Alison for her help and support."