Bec Connolly has a clear plan in mind ahead of her return to the ring on Friday’s #MTKFightNight – defeat Nina Hughes this week, and then take on former world champion Shannon Courtenay next.

Connolly (3-11) faces Hughes (1-0) as part of the stacked card headlined by Danny Dignum’s WBO European middleweight title defence at York Hall in London this week, which will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.

Despite being the underdog, Connolly plans on upsetting the odds against Hughes, and then hopes to secure a fight with recent WBA bantamweight champion Courtenay.

Connolly said: “I’m really looking forward to this fight. I’ve known of Nina Hughes for a while. She was a good fighter for Team GB and everybody spoke highly of her, but I’m coming to win.

“Nina has a good pedigree and experience from fighting for Team GB that you don’t get in the backyard gyms that I’ve been in, but I’ll just crack on and give everything like I always do.

“I never use my life story to try and make excuses for past losses, but when stuff outside the ring is going on, it obviously affects your performance. For this fight I’ve had a solid six week camp and I’m ready.

“A win this Friday at York Hall would be great, and then I’m willing to take any fight, especially the Shannon Courtenay one, I would love that fight next.

“As females go, I’m the last of the old guard and I’m the gatekeeper to the top ranks in the professionals. I’ve earned that respect and place and people have to go through me, but Shannon Courtenay didn’t fight me.”

Elsewhere on Friday’s card, undefeated sensation Lee McGregor returns against Diego Alberto Ruiz, Bilal Fawaz makes his professional debut against Vladimir Fleischhauer, Joe Giles meets Lewis van Poetsch, plus Jordan Flynn, Paul Ryan and George Mitchell are all in action.