CALLUM Simpson will have to lay in wait for his chance to become the town’s fifth British champion but now has the title in his crosshairs.

The 27-year-old super-middleweight is firmly in the queue to contest the Lord Lonsdale belt but he will have to be patient.

Current champion Jack Cullen, from Bolton, dethroned Mark Heffron in September and his first defence will be on January 20 against Londoner Zak Chelli.

The British Boxing Board of Control have ordered that the winner must defend against Simpson.

He will be a keen spectator at the Echo Arena for that contest and an added incentive is that it’s likely the Commonwealth belt will also be up for grabs.

Simpson said: “Ideally Jack will win because I think I would look better beating him.

“He has got more experience too.

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“There is no frustration at all from me. I’ll be patient. I have waited a long time for an opportunity like this. Another few months is not going to make a difference.

“I believe I will be fighting before then and defending my own title.

“It is a chance to get more rounds and more experience over the championship distance – hopefully against a tough international opponent.”

In the meantime, Simpson is going to be in Tenerife later this month as he steps up his training.

It is a far cry from this time last year with Simpson in Canada as a paid sparring partner for the formidable light-heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev.

Now he is the one flying in sparring partners.

Simpson’s ultimate aim is to land a huge fight and bring it to Oakwell during the football off-season.

“I wasn’t signed with Boxxer (Sky Sports’ boxing arm) at this point last year. I’ve had three fights since then and my experience and profile have grown massively.

“We are still talking about putting on a big show down at Oakwell.

“I know Boxxer have been in touch with the club and had talks with the council. That show could be the summer of 2024 or 2025.

“It is all building to that. It is just a case of waiting for the right fight and the right time. It would be a massive event for the town and would bring so much to Barnsley town centre.”

Simpson currently has a record of 13 straight victories with nine knockouts.

He has won all three of his fights after signing with Sky Sports, the last being a ten-round unanimous decision win against Mexican Jose de Jesus Macias in September.

Despite a long history of boxing in Barnsley only four born and bred champions have been from the town.

They were featherweight Charlie Hardcastle (1917), welterweight Chris Saunders (1995), lightweight Robbie Barrett and bantamweight Josh Wale (both 2017).

Thurnscoe-based Billy Thompson twice won the British lightweight title in 1947 and 1949 but he was born in Sunderland.