Barrow boxer Liam Conroy is just two days away from his second title fight of the year and he is feeling like he is building from a more solid base for his bout against Steven Ward on Friday night.

The vacant WBO European Light Heavyweight title will be on the line at Belfast’s Ulster Hall and Conroy will be up against a hometown fighter in Ward, who is unbeaten in his 11 previous professional bouts.

The match comes just three months after he was defeated by former Olympian Joshua Buatsi at London’s Copperbox Arena for the British Light Heavyweight belt, which was the 26-year-old’s first fight in a year after his issues with injuries.

Conroy said: “For the Buatsi one, it was my first [training] camp in a year, so as I was starting it I was doing stuff for the first time in a long time.

“My first spar in the camp was my first one in a few months and even though I was sharp by the time I was getting into the ring with Buatsi, this time I've kind of started the camp in good shape and feeling sharp because I've been so consistent leading up to the camp and I feel better for it."

In between his two title fights, Conroy tuned up with a comfortable win via stoppage inside two rounds against Elvis Dube at Brentwood, Essex, in which he showed any sign of ring rust after his long absence had dissipated.

That was in a mostly empty room, however, while the fight against Ward is going to be in front of a packed house.

Conroy said: "It was good to get a stoppage because I hadn't had a win in a year, so it was good to have it reconfirmed that I have that power there to finish people off. It doesn't give too much confidence because I know that it is a totally different task in front of me on Friday.

"It's a totally different level of opposition, but I'm just glad that I've proven that I'm capable of competing against that level and this fight is more on my level."