ASHLEY THEOPHANE is one hell of a frustrated boxer.
If the Paddington-born light-welter had his way, he would be fighting big names in the USA rather than getting into the ring with a cracked rib and a lack of motivation, as he did on Sunday to edge past Mark Douglas in a low-key show.
Theophane won 77-75 - but the cold reality of fighting a tough opponent cleared his head long before the final bell at York Hall.
The fighter known as Treasure had to use every ounce of his ringcraft to ratchet up the pace
when he needed it at the end in Bethnal Green. But the Reading man's explosive moments in the eight-rounder didn't make it quite the breeze Theophane wanted to sound as he improved his record to 25-3-1.
"He's tough and he came out swinging," said the west Londoner.
"But I had a cracked rib in sparring and nearly pulled out of the fight. The motivation wasn't there - and I really wanted to stay focused for what's to come."
That's what the 28-year-old hopes will come.
Theophane knows all about the promised land of boxing - it doesn't often exist.
British title eliminators with a title shot denied after winning them; and a fight against former world champion Zab Judah which has
been more off and on than a traffic light - except the colour never turns to green for Theophane.
He said: "Maybe I'll get a chance for the vacant NABO belt, it's a bit like the WBO - and if I get it I'll get ranked top 10 in the world.
"I hope the thing in America happens this time - because maybe I
can stay there.
"The British scene bores me but it allows me to sharpen my tools - it keeps me busy.
"But if I didn't fight this guy (Douglas) - I was told I wouldn't be fighting anyone on this show, even if he does have the potential to be an English champion."