Undefeated Streatham super bantamweight Chris Bourke wants to capture more belts in 2022, following a difficult year.
Injuries have meant Bourke, 10-0 in the professional ranks with six knockouts, has only been able to box once this year, outpointing James Beech Jr in July.
The WBC International Champion and Southern Area title holder was set to headline at York Hall on 12 November but had to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test.
Bourke, 27, said: “It was gutting, especially with the ten days of isolation and realising that I’m not going to get to box again this year.
“This year I’ve only boxed once, which is frustrating when it could have been three or four times.
“It’s just part of boxing – you just have to keep grafting and stay positive and your chance will come again.”
He is aiming to earn more belts next year, and has his sights set on a fight with domestic rival, Jason Cunningham.
Cunningham, a fellow southpaw, is the current holder of the European, Commonwealth and British belts.
The Doncaster boxer signed with Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions this week.
Bourke is also managed by Warren, making a bout between the pair more likely.
He explained: “I’ve told my management that the fight with Jason Cunningham is what I want.
“It’s just about getting titles and climbing the rankings next year.”
Doing this would put him one step closer to becoming world champion, a goal he is confident of achieving.
Bourke, who earned his WBC International title by stopping the experienced Michael Ramabeletsa in the second round, believes his punch power separates him from the rest of his division.
He said: “There aren’t many super bantamweights who hit as hard as me.
“I have that one punch power and a lot of people have started talking about me because of that.
“I’m an exciting boxer to watch.”
Bourke trains under coach Martin Bowers at Peacock Gym in Epping, a facility reserved for the Canning Town gym’s professional fighters.
However, his journey in boxing began at Balham Boxing Club when he was 15, with his amateur debut taking place just two months after he first laced up a pair of gloves.
He would go on to be selected for the GB Boxing squad, requiring him to travel to Sheffield and train three times a day.
Bourke believes these challenges, along with fighting abroad and difficult setbacks, have helped him as a professional.
He said: “When I was an amateur, I caught glandular fever and that wiped me out for six months.
“Then when I got back I broke my eye socket and my nose, so I’ve had tougher times than this.
“I’m grateful that I was able to box once this year and just have to make up for it next year.”
To stay updated with Bourke’s journey to the top of the super bantamweight division, follow his Instagram account.
Photo credit: Scott Rawsthorne