NEWPORT’S undefeated lightweight Nathan Howells has domestic gold in his sights with a Welsh title shot around the corner.

Howells is preparing to return to the ring for the sixth time as a professional on February 18 in Cardiff.

It has been plain sailing for the Newport native, who began his professional career in October 2021 when he defeated the very durable Christian Lopez Flores on points at the Vale Sports Arena.

He then extended his professional record to 2-0 just two months later when he outpointed Hereford’s Dean Evans at Chepstow Racecourse.

Howells has been learning his trade and developing himself as a professional at St Joseph's Boxing Gym in Newport under the watchful eye and guidance of Tony Borg.

Borg, who has coached some of Wales’ greatest fighters in recent times, including former IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby, has been pivotal in the progress of Howells who turned over from the amateur ranks a little under two years ago.

The work rate of Howells has set him apart from his opponents and given him the edge in each of his five professional contests.

Howells has played amateur football for many years, most recently for Newport Corinthians, which has also had a part to play in the outstanding fitness levels of the lightweight fighter.

South Wales Argus: Newport lightweight boxer Nathan HowellsNewport lightweight boxer Nathan Howells (Image: Submitted)

Howells continued his professional journey throughout 2022, where he picked up three solid wins in a row to take his record to 5-0.

His first win of 2022 came in April when he defeated Jamie Quinn over six rounds in Bracknell, which was Howells’ first six-round contest as well as the first time he had fought outside of Wales.

He then extended his record in May when he defeated debutant Tatenda Mangombe in Swansea, in a show that was televised live on the BBC which granted Howells some deserved exposure as well as boxing on a significant platform for the first time in his career.

Howells ended the year in his third and final contest of 2022, where he outpointed Cristian Narvaez in another six-round points victory in Cardiff, extending his record to five wins out of five in what was a highly productive 12 months.

It will be business as usual for Howells next month when he is scheduled to face the durable Nicaraguan Jose Manual Perez.

It will be a tough test for Howells with his scheduled opponent picking up 10 wins as a professional, with eight of them coming via knockout.

However, this won’t faze the Welshman, who will be preparing for whatever his opponent may throw at him.

If successful in February, Howells will have gold on his mind and more specifically a shot at the Welsh title.

Swansea’s Kristian Touze and Carmarthen’s Angelo Dragone have both emerged as potential opponents for Howells at some point in 2023.

Touze, who is undefeated in 12 professional contests, is a former Welsh super-featherweight champion having defeated the aforementioned Dragone in 2019.

Dragone, who recently fell short to Cardiff’s Jacob Robinson in a bout for the Welsh featherweight title, has boxed eight times as a professional and will be searching for redemption of some kind in the near future, having been unsuccessful in two of his previous Welsh title shots.

Howells must deal with the task at hand next month, but he will undoubtedly have that first professional title shot in his sights.