SCOTT Quigg is aiming to return to the top and become world champion again in 2017 after an impressive comeback victory on Saturday night.
The Bury star knocked out Mexican Jose Cayetano midway through the ninth round at Manchester Arena in his first fight in almost 10 months.
It was also a first bout since moving up a division as he won the vacant WBA International Featherweight championship in style.
Now, after bouncing back from his first professional defeat against Carl Frampton in February and recovering from the broken jaw he suffered in that clash, Quigg feels he is back on track and ready to challenge the elite in his new division.
Speaking exclusively to The Bolton News, the 28-year-old said: “In 2017 I want to be a world champion again.
“It will most probably be at the end of the year when I get a shot.
“Whoever they put in front of me I am confident I can be at the top again.
“I just want to keep putting in performances like Saturday and when people see a knockout like that, my name will surely be in the mix.”
Quigg went into his comeback fight in confident mood but admitted he faced a tough test against an opponent who had taken Leo Santa Cruz the distance in 2015 and never been stopped in 24 previous bouts.
He began on the front foot with good combinations testing his opponent in the early rounds.
But 29-year-old Cayetano illustrated his resilience by standing up to both head and body shots to make Quigg work hard.
he continued to withstand what the Bury boxer had to offer while landing some shots of his own.
But as the fight wore on, you sensed the Mexican was tiring and Quigg made his move early in the ninth round.
With Cayetano boxed into a corner, Quigg landed a superb right hook that saw his opponent’s legs crumble and after just a count to three, referee Terry O’Connor called an end to the contest.
Quigg added: “I’m absolutely buzzing with the win.
“My aim was to slowly grind him down and once he started to tire I would land more punches and that is what happened.
“In the ninth, he came out and put himself in the corner.
I gave him room to come out but he didn’t want to.
That’s when I knew he wasn’t liking it and I had worked on the combination of shots to the body and then a right hook over the top.”
Also on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s successful defence of his IBF world heavyweight crown , Quigg’s stablemate under Joe Gallagher at Gloves Community centre, Callum Smith, beat Luke Blackledge, who trains at Elite Gym in Halliwell, with a 10th-round knockout left hook.
Hosea Burton, also in Gallagher’s camp, lost his British title to Frank Buglioni in the final round.