MIDDLEWEIGHT Dan Barton has admitted not preparing properly for his second fight in the paid code was a mistake that he will never make again.

Tony Borg-trained Barton hadn’t long won his first bout as a professional when he faced Wiltshire’s Anthony Fox over four rounds in Bristol last June.

Up to that point, Fox had only won once in 11 outings, a record that led to Barton showing no hesitation when offered the contest while on holiday in Marbella.

Still on a high following a pro debut success against Jacob Lucas in his hometown of Newport, Barton

almost took it for granted that he would make it two wins from two.

But it didn’t pan out that way and a drop off in time spent training for the encounter became evident inside the opening seconds of round one at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground.

In the end, Barton was fortunate to get away with a draw, but that night had a profound effect on the 28-year-old dad-of-one.

Barton and Fox, who has won four of his last five fights, are pencilled in to meet again on the Matchroom Boxing show at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff on August 4.

It isn’t set in stone just yet but Barton would love to get the chance to right the wrongs of 12 months ago.

“I would like to fight Fox again,” he said. “When I fought him last time I wasn’t prepared for it.

“I looked at his record and thought I wouldn’t have a problem, but ended up learning a harsh lesson.

“I think I was still on the rollercoaster of my first fight which I’d trained seven or eight weeks for.

“The last time against Fox, I was gassed after 30 seconds and didn’t want to be there because I’d only had three weeks in the gym.

“It was my own fault. You’ve got to be 100% every single time you go in the ring, and I wasn’t on that occasion – I won’t make that mistake again.

“I was lucky because if it was the other way around and I’d gone in against someone who hadn’t prepared properly there would have only been one result.

“I think Fox has come on since then but I believe that if I fought him now I would beat him.”

While Fox has fought eight times since they first met, Barton, who became a dad to Emilia in February, has only been in the ring once.

However, Barton believes he could have three bouts before the end of the year, including a potential Welsh title fight.

He added: “I’m willing to fight anyone. I believe I’m the best middleweight in Wales.

“Hopefully I’ll fight for the Welsh title this year, if not then definitely the start of next year.

“MTK (which manages the likes of Barton’s St Joseph’s stablemate Sean McGoldrick) are holding a show in Cardiff in September so hopefully I can get on that too.

“And Sanigar Events (Barton is managed by Chris Sanigar) could be holding a show as well, so I’m hoping to have a couple of fights this year.

“It’s been too long since I last fought.

“The reason is I had my first child in February and was going to fight in April but my first priority is my family.

“We’re moving into a new house this weekend so with the baby being born and living with the in-laws, it has been a bit hectic.”