WHEN Darren Tetley was involved in a contender for fight of the year in winning the WBO European title in 2018 live on BT Sport, it seemed like the welterweight scene was at his feet.

Fast forward two years and the Holme Wood-born fighter finds himself in the domestic doldrums desperate for a big fight to shoot him back into boxing stardom.

Tetley has only fought three times in the 22 months since that glorious victory over Mason Cartwright at Elland Road against opponents who come under the undesirable tag of ‘journeymen’.

However, the 26-year-old’s fortunes maybe about to change after signing with matchmakers MTK Global, who have worked wonders in recent years helping the likes of Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders.

Ahead of his return to the ring this Friday, ‘TNT’ hopes this newly-formed relationship can inspire a shot at the British title, currently held by Wales’ Chris Jenkins, in 2020.

Firstly speaking on where it all went wrong after that big night at the home of Leeds United, Tetley said: “I boxed live on BT Sport in a title fight that was in contention for fight of the year and then you think everything is going to take off from there.

“You get recognised walking around and think this is it. Two to three months down the line and everything fell off.

“It never materialised to what I thought it could be which was a bit of a kick in the teeth.

“Maybe I was in the ‘who needs me club’ being a southpaw and not being majorly known. There are already a lot of names in the welterweight division who have a lot of backing and a following, who don’t want to take a risk.”

On the link up with MTK, he added: “I am not that sure (how it came about) as funny as that sounds.

“I heard from my manager that MTK were interested and they came back with a deal promising some big fights and that is all we wanted.

“The names that they have already are massive which helps. The opportunities that they get their fighters is what enticed me toward them.

“I want the British title but it doesn’t always work out as easy as that. Big names and titles are what I am looking for.

“They will give me a chance which I have been saying for years that I want. The fans want the big fights and MTK can deliver them.”

Tetley is next out at Elland Road’s Banqueting Suite this weekend to kick off a year he thinks will be filled with activity.

However, the undefeated southpaw is keen not to underestimate his upcoming opponent, insisting that maintaining focus is key.

He said: “People might call it a tick over fight but whenever you get into the ring with eight-ounce gloves on, you know you are in a fight. I am fighting someone from Nicaragua and I have never fought someone from there before and he has a 50/50 record.

“I am looking forward to getting in there and having a fight. It won’t be as easy as what people think.”

Tetley has seen what fellow West Yorkshireman Josh Warrington has done, generating a huge fan base on his way to collecting world glory in his home city Leeds, where he defeated Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight crown.

The welterweight thinks he has the ability to replicate such success, and wants to get back on that stage, but knows he will need the people of Bradford’s support.

“Josh (Warrington) is the same kind of person/background as me coming from a council estate.” Tetley said.

“I need the backing on these smaller shows to show promoters that I can get people behind me.

“People say they will come to the big fights but I need to say to promoters that I’ve sold so many tickets in places like Leeds, so if I could get a big show in Bradford I would sell this much. I need to show proof in order to get the big fights.

“I want Bradford behind me so I can bring some big fights to the city.”