He is the longest reigning of all Barnsley's British champions but Robbie Barrett feels it will count for nothing if he does not keep hold of his title this weekend.

Lightweight Barrett, 25, from Darfield, pulled off a major upset by dethroning the previously-unbeaten Scott Cardle in Glasgow earlier this year. The win earned him a place in the history books as only Barnsley's third ever British champion and completed a meteoric rise for the southpaw.

Barrett has overcome early losses in his career against journeymen and made incredible improvements under trainer Stefy Bull to become the surprise package of what is considered one of the most talent-packed divisions in the UK.

A hand injury initially put off a defence against mandatory challenger Lewis Ritson, 24, from Newcastle. But Barrett will aim to become the second Barnsley fighter in the space of three weeks to defend a British title tomorrow night at the Manchester Arena – following Josh Wale's dramatic knockout win over Don Broadhurst at the same venue a fortnight ago.

Barrett says he has enjoyed his reign too much to give the belt up at the first opportunity. He said: "Josh has done well and managed to get a first defence in quickly. I am chuffed for him. I have got to do the same and have been through the hardest camp to make sure I am fully prepared to do so. Being champion has sunk in but it still hits me that I have achieved the same as some great boxers."

Barrett fully appreciates that there should be a shift in pressure from challenger to champion but says he does not feel it. While he was the underdog for Cardle, he is now expected to beat Ritson, who had an excellent amateur career before turning professional and earning 12 straight wins.

"I do not look at it as pressure, it's just excitement," said Barrett.

"Cardle had experience over me but I beat him. I think that I have the boxing ability over 12 rounds to frustrate opponents and make them have to change their tactics. I have watched a bit of Ritson and he looks good but so he should against the level of opponent he has been in with. There is nothing I can take away from watching him. He is hitting people with shots that I wouldn't get hit with. I have stepped up in quality throughout my career and have improved so much. I am 100 per cent confident that I am going to win the fight."

The show, which is being broadcast live on Sky Sports, is headlined by the 'battle of Britain' clash between two of the best fighters in Barrett's division in hometown man Anthony Crolla and Scotland's three-weight world champion Ricky Burns.

"It is a huge show and that is a great fight to headline," he said.

"It was my first time at the arena to watch Josh and now it is my turn."