BRADFORD native Jimmy First is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 42, as he gets set for the biggest bout of his career.

First (14-2) has just been pencilled in to take on unbeaten champion Lewis Sylvester (12-0) for the English Lightweight title at the Magna Centre in Rotherham on October 21.

An excited First, who now lives in Brighouse, is not just there to make up the numbers either, as he eyes an historic crown.

He told the T&A: “It’s massive and a great opportunity for me.

“Stefy Bull is the promoter and he contacted Lewis about taking me on for his belt, and that’s been sorted now.

“It’s a huge opportunity and one I’ll be grabbing with both hands.

“But I’m not just going to go in there to take the punches. He’s a slick boxer and a quick mover, so I know what he’ll do.

“I’ll be going in there to put it on him and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to make history, as I could be the oldest English champion from Britain in who knows how many years.”

Asked about the long wait until fight night, First said: “I’m actually about to start a 10-week training camp, which is perfect for this bout, so I’m happy with the date being October 21.

“It’s allowed me to have a nice break and I’ve been on holiday with my missus, but I’ve kept on top of my fitness and now it’s time to prepare.”

First won his opening 14 professional bouts but has lost his last two to Josh Padley and Cori Gibbs, the latter a rematch after the veteran Bradfordian had superbly won the initial televised encounter.

They did not inspire any thoughts of calling it a day, with First saying: “It’s made me more determined, and a couple of losses don’t define you.

“With Josh, I was ill just before, and should have pulled out of the fight really.

“Cori was all hit and move in our second bout and that was the difference between that and our first one, his trainer told him not to stand there and trade punches.

“He has good footwork and changed his tactics, but I felt his legs were going and I was starting to catch up with him on the scorecards.

“If it had been a 10 or 12 round bout instead of eight, the result might have been a different story.”

And First sees himself carrying on regardless of the result against Sylvester, saying: “I think I’ve got a couple of years left and I want to carry on even if I lose in October.

“But it’s just best to take it fight by fight for now and see what happens.”