CONFIDENT Craig Evans insists he can’t see anything stopping him defending his WBO European lightweight crown against former champion Stephen Ormond tonight.

Belfast’s Waterfront Hall is the setting for Evans’ first title defence following his dethroning of Thomas Stalker at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena last November.

Dubliner Ormond, 34, is challenging for the strap 28 months after losing it to Terry Flanagan – the Irishman was disqualified in the 10th round for persistent use of the head.

Since then, Ormond has been beaten once in eight outings, by Hungary’s Zoltan Szabo last October, and won the vacant IBF inter-continental title.

His previous appearance in March resulted in a rapid victory over Nicaraguan Norwin Galo, while Blackwood’s Evans hasn’t fought since that Stalker success nearly seven months ago.

But St Joseph’s-trained Evans, 27, is upbeat about his chances of bringing the belt back to Wales, despite a lack of activity this year.

“There has been a long gap between fights,” he said. “I was going to fight in March, then it was April, and then it was May.

“It kept being pushed back but now it’s here and I’m just happy to be fighting.

“It would have been nice to fight earlier than this and to defend the title in my hometown.

“I know he is going to have a lot of supporters there and it’s going to be hostile for me.

“I know I’m going to get a few boos when I step into the ring but hopefully the crowd will appreciate what I’ve got to do.”

He added: “I’m feeling fit and confident, and I just can’t wait to get the job done and celebrate on Sunday.

“I’ve boxed on the same cards as him and he is a good fighter, but I’m better – I can’t see anything going wrong.

“Winning the belt was tough, defending it is another thing, but I want to keep it and take it back home for my daughter Poppy.”

Flanagan became world champion after ousting Ormond in February 2015, and since then he has defended his crown on five occasions.

And, providing he gets past Ormond tonight, Evans is targeting a showdown with the unbeaten 28-year-old.

“If everything goes to plan and I beat Stephen Ormond then I can’t see why a fight with Terry Flanagan can’t be made,” he said.

“I’m ranked nine in the world with the WBO so it should be an easy one to be made.”

Meanwhile, Cefn Fforest’s WBA world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly is being tipped to defend his title against Badou Jack on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor bill in Las Vegas on August 26.

Two-time world champion Cleverly, 30, hasn’t fought since last October when he dethroned Juergen Braehmer in Germany.

Jack, born in Sweden, has won 21 and drawn two of his 24 contests.

He moved up from super-middleweight earlier this year after drawing with James DeGale in a unification bout in Brooklyn.