TRAINER Kev Thorniley is hopeful Lee Cutler will get his English title shot later this year.

Cutler, trained in Parkstone by Thorniley, earned a shot at the belt by winning his eliminator against previously unbeaten Stanley Stannard on points at Vitality Stadium in May.

The Verwood-raised puncher, 27, now has a professional record reading 13-1, racking up six wins in succession since his only defeat, to Brad Rea, in March 2021.

It is now hoped Cutler’s return to the ring could be to fight for the English super welterweight title.

Sam Gilley currently holds the belt and is due to face mandatory challenger and fellow Londoner Kingsley Egbunike in his next defence.

However, Gilley is widely expected to vacate the title in the near future, which Thorniley hopes could open the door for Cutler perhaps sooner than expected.

“Sam Gilley has got a commonwealth shot, which would mean that (English title) should become vacant,” Thorniley explained to the Daily Echo.

“We’ve already boxed an eliminator, so the way we see it is we’re first in line.

“The way we see it is if Kingsley was going to be ready for that, and there’s no-one to dance with, then that’s what we should be stepping in for. We could box for it.

“We’re waiting on the board now, because Sam Gilley had until July 12 to officially say what he’s doing. But it’s one of those that everybody knows it’s going to be a vacate.

“It would just be nice for us if he could do it sooner rather than later.

“The English is definitely what we want next. It just makes sense to keep going up, a step at a time.

“There’s no mad rush to get there because he’s got time on his side and we’ve got the right people behind us.

“Sky are interested, they like Lee and it just makes sense to keep doing it one step at a time on a ladder.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Early suggestions are Cutler’s close friend Chris Billam-Smith could return to the ring in Bournemouth in October, for the first time since becoming WBO cruiserweight world champion earlier this year.

Cutler’s last three fights have come on the undercard of Billam-Smith’s headline shows.

Asked if that would be the plan again, or if Cutler could box sooner, Thorniley said: “We obviously all love boxing together.

“It could be a case that we all get to do it again in October down here, but it’s important for us to always remember that Lee’s got his own career to be ready for.

“Realistically I think he should be getting ready for September.

“If it happens to be October, we can stay ticking over. When the call comes, he’ll be ready.”