Southampton knockout king Joe Pigford is set to take a major step in his career after landing a shot at the vacant WBO European super-welterweight title.

Pigford, who has stopped 12 opponents in a perfect 13 fight pro record, faces Scotland’s Kieran Smith at the Copper Box Arena on September 16 on the undercard of the Billy Joe Saunders world title defence.

Having blitzed through his previous opponents, a title shot was the obvious next step for Pigford, and he knows a win would really elevate him to elite status.

"Boxing fans love to see knockouts and I'm more than happy to deliver them," said Pigford.

"I've stopped 12 of my 13 opponents and everyone always tells me I have the second best KO record in the country behind heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua - it doesn't mean much but it looks good.

"I've got the knockout every time I've fought at the Copper Box and I'll make it three from three on September 16 in front of the BT Sport and BoxNation cameras. I'm looking forward to showing the fans a few things we have been working on in the gym.

"People look at my record and think I'm just a brawler that loves a tear-up. When I need to, I know I can box really well. Some people question my defence but I've sparred with some of the top names in the country and I know I can mix it with the best."

Currently ranked as the third best 11st fighter in the country behind Frank Warren stablemates Liam Smith and Liam Williams, Pigford knows securing the WBO European belt would propel him into the organisation's World rankings and towards future blockbuster battles.

"Winning that belt would open up a lot of doors for me so it really is a must win fight," said Pigford, who is trained in Southampton by Wayne Batten.

"There's a lot on the line and I'll be coming into the fight 100 per cent prepared for whatever Smith throws at me. I've had a little look at him online and he's 10-0 so it should be a good test for me.

"I'll be bringing along a good crowd of my lot up from Southampton and they are guaranteed to make a racket like they always do. My dream has always been to win titles and on September 16 I'll win what will hopefully be the first of many."

Batten added: “He’s in a good place.

“I think after the Aarron Morgan fight all the talk was that the next one would be for a title and they have delivered.

“It’s a big one and he faces another unbeaten fighter.

“Joe is at the next level. We are moving up now so we to take a fight like this and show we can do it at this level.”