Stretford boxer Brad Rea is hoping his fight on the VIP Promotions show at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens this Saturday will be the first of many in what will turn out to be his busiest year to date.

The 26-year-old, who is now based on the Fylde coast, takes on Poland’s Patryk Polasik at the same venue where he won a 16th professional outing from 17 in December against Adam Cieslak.

Rea said: “I joined Sharpstyle gym in Blackpool last year and settled in so well that I’ve now moved to the town to make training easier and I’m loving it, especially those morning runs on the sand dunes.

“I also enjoy regular intense sparring with top-quality pros based there, such as Willie Goldie-Galloway, who is boxing for an area title on the show.

“I only had two bouts in 2023 and I’m 26 now, so I want to get on with it and win an English title so that I can challenge for a British title later this year.”

Rea joined the ranks of paid boxing in 2018 following a distinguished amateur career where the former student of Wellacre in Flixton and Bolton College won 74 of his 98 bouts.

He is currently ranked seventh out of 79 British boxers in his super middleweight division according to BoxRec - the international boxing database.

Title fights will mean a return to eight and then 10-round bouts, with eventually a ‘gruelling and brutal 12-round battle for a major championship’, according to Rea who added: “It can’t come soon enough.”

Like any professional boxer fighting on what are called ‘small hall’ shows, Rea needs to sell tickets to his bouts but continues to train full-time thanks to a host of sponsors.

He said: “Pharmapipe have become one of my main sponsors, but I want to mention all the others so many thanks to ANS Group UK, BeyondLaw, Sedulo, IGD Sport, The Hairloss Shop, Easy Access Self Storage, Justtikit, Marshall Artist, CTS Ltd, ISS Ltd and Howarths Butchers, in Flixton.”