FRAZER Clarke plans to crank up the pressure on super-heavyweight rival Joe Joyce in Finland next month.
Clarke hopes to be picked for the prestigious Tammer tournament after illness ruled him out of the World Combat Games.
A bout of glandular fever meant he missed out on travelling to Russia, but the 22-year-old from Horninglow expects to be fit enough to travel to Finland, if selected.
Clarke hopes an impressive performance there will lead to him knocking Joyce off top spot in the British rankings.
Joyce made an early exit from the world championships in Kazakhstan after being stopped in the first round by Hamza Beguerni (Algeria) and Clarke said: “Now’s the time for me to stake my claim.
“Joe has had a couple of stoppage defeats now and if I go to Finland, I’ve got to show that I deserve my chance in the big tournaments like the European and world championships.”
Clarke has three times lost to the Londoner, but the last was by a single point and the Burton amateur has made his breakthrough at international level by winning medals at the Bocksai, Gee Bee and Feliks Stamm tournaments.
He said: “I’ve been a bit unlucky at the Tammer tournament before and I’ve come back with bronze medals.
“But I’m a lot better now than I was then.”
Clarke also hopes to enter the ABA championships, set to start in January.
He was beaten by Joyce in the 2012 final, then forced to withdraw from this year’s championship because of his involvement with the World Series of Boxing.
“That’s the title I want more than any other,” said Clarke. “I’m going to keep boxing for as long as it takes for me to win the ABA super-heavyweight title.”