Reece MacMillan will look to end the year on a high this Saturday night.
The promising Morecambe welterweight lost for the first time as a professional when he took a late notice opportunity to try and upset Adam Little on the World Boxing Super Series show in Liverpool in September.
A brave display couldn’t prevent the former English champion coming out on top with a fourth round stoppage, MacMillan’s record slipping to 4-1.
Now the former Skerton ABC man will return at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester this weekend looking to get back to winning ways when he takes on one of the small hall circuit’s most recognisable names.
Closing in on 300 fights, “Mr Reliable” Kristian Laight has shared the ring with all the country’s top prospects and is expected to give MacMillan a tough four rounds.
“Laight’s very tricky,” said trainer John Donaghy. “He’s had something like 260 or 270 fights and is a good opponent for Reece at this stage.
“We’ll probably get the full four rounds, very few people stop him.
“We just want to get back to winning ways before the year is out and get a bit of confidence back up.
“Then we can kick on next year with a bit of momentum.”
Donaghy is looking for a better all-around boxing display from his man who has thus far in the early stages of his professional career enjoyed success as a pressure fighter.
Now the cornerman wants to see MacMillan progress as a boxer.
“He’s been training hard,” Donaghy said.
“He’s coming to Preston from Morecambe three or four times a week and you can’t ask for much more than that when he’s juggling work as well.
“We’ve tried to get back to boxing a little bit.
“I want him to work behind the jab a little bit more rather than march forwards and try to knock people out.
“It will be interesting to see if he can put it in to practice.”
Victory would get MacMillan back on track heading into 2018 where progression will be the name of the game.
Donaghy isn’t ruling out manager Kieran Farrell coming up with some interesting opportunities but isn’t keen on making as big a leap as they did against Little, now 18-2, at the Echo Arena on a card broadcast on ITV4.
“We’ll probably have another four rounder after Christmas, maybe February,” he said.
“Then move onto six rounds and then just work our way up the ranks that way.
“I’m not ruling out taking a chance like we did with Adam Little but it won’t be that big a jump.
“It just proved to be a little too much in the end.
“He needs a couple of wins and we’ll see.
“If chances do come up we might have to take them because you can’t just potter around anymore, unless you’re a big name or a big ticket seller.”