Anthony Fowler aiming to challenge Denzel Bentley for the British title next

A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and Anthony Fowler is on a mission to prove he's the best middleweight in the UK.

The 2016 Olympian fought at Lukasz Maciec at 160lbs in February - his first fight since defeat to Liam Smith and is now targeting a clash against Denzel Bentley for the Lonsdale belt.

Fowler - trained by Shane McGuigan - admitted his struggle to make the light middleweight limit in previous fights finally took its toll when he took on "Beefy" in a bragging rights bout last October.

Smith overcame a cut from the early rounds to stop Fowler in the eighth round to become WBA International champion.

"The energy levels weren't there I went from 100 to zero real fast and people always say, the weight catches up with you and I couldn't maintain the pace at all. I faded really bad," the Liverpudlian told Planet Sport.

"He's [Smith] a very good fighter - he's better than what people think. He's really underrated - he's only really lost to Jaime Munguia and Canelo. He got robbed against the Russian fighter so he knows his way around the ring."

Bentley defeated Linus Udofia to win the vacant British title in a pulsating clash from an event which generated an audience of one million viewers on Channel 5.

With the 27-year-old not obligated to make a mandatory defence next, Fowler is hopeful of fighting him next for the title.

"I'd love to fight Denzel next if the opportunity arose," said Fowler. "I don't really know how it works. Obviously, I'm not mandatory for the title but he should be able to fight who he wants next - hopefully, he fights me next.

"I think it'll be on a Frank Warren card (if it happens) because he's probably going to want to box at home rather than away with him being a champion but that wouldn't bother me at all. I'll fight on any show, I'm not really bothered.

"He's a good lad - there's no bad blood. He's a two-time British champion, he's a great fighter and it's a hard fight for me but it's the fight that I fancy.

"I would like to go back to domestic level and win the British title. I was boxing at the fringe of world level and I skipped the queue a little bit as the coach was saying funnily enough.

I'd like to go back down to British level, prove I'm the best in the country and push on to European (level).

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