SAM MAXWELL has had a hard five years working his way through the professional ranks. He had been a talented amateur on the Great Britain squad, a Commonwealth medallist who was overshadowed first by Josh Taylor, now the super-lightweight world champion, and then an excellent Pat McCormack, who represents Team GB in his second Olympics this week. But Maxwell has advanced diligently as a pro, taking a good points win over Joe Hughes last year. Having outscored Ben Fields earlier this year, he is now 15-0 (11) and has the date set for the most significant contest of his professional career so far. On August 28 at the Arena Birmingham he will box Akeem Ennis Brown for the British and Commonwealth super-lightweight titles.

“It’s been a long time coming but I feel like it’s at the right time. It’s come at the perfect time for me and I’m really looking forward to it. Winning this I’ve got so many options after it. It’s giving me more incentive to win,” he told Boxing News. “I definitely feel like my career has progressed. Each fight I’ve added something new to my game and my experience so I’m definitely ready.

“I’m a mature pro now.”

“I’m looking forward to the fight. I think it’s going to be a good fight, I’m in a good place,” he added. “I’m definitely going to beat him, I know I can beat him and I’m excited for it.”

Some spite has been exchanged between the two. “He’s always mentioning my name, messaging me, commenting on my posts. I was responding to it early on, but now I’m just letting it to fuel me to train harder and just making a positive out of it,” Sam said. “I just think as soon as the camera goes on him he feels like he has to act a certain way. Let him get to it. Whatever works for him. But it’s not affecting me. I’m training hard and I can’t wait till the fight.”

He’s been working with new trainer Steve Maylett. “You get a new lease of life, a bit of freshness. I’m training around Terry Flannagan,” he said. “I train hard, I’ve got great experience from [Steve], he’s been to the top level himself and also we’ve got Terry in the gym. So I’m learning a lot from him as well. I’m just really enjoying it. It’s hard training but I feel like I’m in a great place and it’s going to get the best out of me come fight night.”

Maxwell has boxed Josh Taylor as an amateur, losing to the Scottish star in the semi-final of the Commonwealth Games. As a professional Sam is looking to climb the sanctioning body rankings to force a shot at one of the bigger names. “Josh Taylor might have a couple more fights or move straight up, vacating [the sanctioning body belts]. It puts me in a great position once I beat Akeem. So it’s definitely something to look at. Not focusing on it, but it’s definitely something to spur me on after this fight,” Maxwell said. “I’d love that [rematch with Josh Taylor]! He’s phenomenal.

“I trained alongside him, I’ve done so many rounds with him. He was good in the amateurs but he just took himself to the next level and he’s the best in the world. He’s not had it easy. He’s had tough fights from early on and he’s just come through them and progressed. Now look where he is. Completed the game.”

But he added, “I feel like I used to hold my own with him in training and I think my fight with him was a great fight and a close fight. So from what he’s done, it gives me confidence knowing how good I must be as well.”

On the same August 28 bill in Birmingham Leon Woodstock fights Anthony Cacace for the British super-featherweight title while Anthony Yarde gets a tune up ahead an expected rematch with Lyndon Arthur in October. Stoke’s well supported Nathan Heaney will also be in action.