Brian Rose begins his pursuit of a second world title fight tonight, insisting he has already proven he belongs at elite level.
The light middleweight was outclassed by WBO champion Demetrius Andrade in June – but is convinced he can recover from only the second defeat of his career.
The Denton-based 29-year-old has been hurt by criticism of his performance in New York when he was knocked down twice before being stopped in the seventh round.
He claims former Olympian Andrade will go on to establish himself as one of boxing’s greats.
“I've been through a lot so to be questioned is ridiculous,” said Rose, who faces Ignacio Fraga in Leeds tonight. “I never gave up against Andrade and I was never going to quit in there.
“I believe I am world class, but he's a level above that. He's an elite fighter. It won't be until he gets in with Miguel Cotto, Saul Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather when people will see how good he is.
“I got unlucky because I went over there, no-one really knows him, but he is brilliant.
“I did myself proud, I got off the floor, but I do regret my performance. I know that I am much better than that - there's so much more that I can give so that's my one regret.
“I certainly don't regret taking the fight because I have learnt so much from it, I just totally froze on the night, it might not have changed the outcome as he's that good, but it would've changed my performance, I might have gone the distance and I might have pushed him rather than getting stopped.“
Rose, who is trained by Bobby Rimmer, recovered from defeat to Max Maxwell early in his career to become British champion and challenge for a world title.
He believes he can come back in similar fashion following defeat to Andrade – starting against Argentinian Fraga.
“Tonight is now the biggest fight of my career,” he said. “I need to comeback in style, it's not just about winning but about performing and coming back with a bang.
“I don’t want to just scrape a win I want to show that I belong at the top of my own bills in front of my own sell-out crowds and boxing in America, so it starts here with a good performance and a win, getting a few titles and another world title shot.
“I am the kind of guy that learns from his losses, that was the case when I got beat by Max Maxwell, no disrespect to Max, but he is classed as a journeyman, and I was stopped by a world class fighter in Andrade, who I believe will go onto to do great things, so I can look at that one differently.
“No-one ever thought I would win a British title and I ended up owning one outright. I've done everything, but win world title in my eyes so to get back in there now should be easy for me.
“I will get to that level again and if it takes me three or four fights, I will win a world title.”