Winning the British title would mean “everything” to newly crowned two-time Commonwealth champion Reece Bellotti.

The South Oxhey fighter claimed the vacant super featherweight belt with an eighth-round stoppage of Aqib Fiaz at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday in a fight that was also the final eliminator for the British title.

It is the second time the 32-year-old has won a Commonwealth title after claiming the featherweight division in 2017, but his sights are now firmly set on securing the British belt currently held by Liam Dillon.

Watford Observer: Bellotti celebrates his 17th professional victoryBellotti celebrates his 17th professional victory (Image: PA)

“It’s everything,” Bellotti said when asked what it mean to win the British title. “Everyone who knows me knows it’s the one title I’m always wanted to win and that’s the one I can’t wait to fight for.”

Saturday’s victory came after Bellotti caught his opponent with a left hook, forcing him to take a knee with just over 50 seconds of the eighth round remaining. Previously unbeaten Fiaz was up quickly, only to then by caught with a flurry of head and body punches that led to trainer Jamie Moore throwing in the towel at the end of the round.

It gave Bellotti his 14th knockout in his 17th professional victory and in an interview with promoters Matchroom he reflected: “It’s all hard work and dedication and never giving up. I got beat a couple of times, I spoke to my wife and I was thinking ‘I don’t know whether I’m going to be able to come back from that’. But you’ve just got to keep digging in and I’m now two-time, two-weight Commonwealth champ.

“The fight kind of played out how our game plan was. We knew that he was going to be sharp early on, he was good and he’s very hard to get hold of, but as soon as I started stabbing away at the body and slowing him down it paid in the end.”

Bellotti, who trained under Mick Courtney at South Oxhey Boxing Club as an amateur, sparred with world super featherweight champion Joe Cordina as part of his preparations for the fight.

“It was exactly what I needed, it’s perfect,” he said. “I’m not going to ever get better sparring for Fiaz than Joe Cordina. He’s like pound-for-pound one of the greatest fighters in this country. It was great rounds, great experience and I learned a lot from it.

“Some of those rounds were very competitive. I wasn’t a million miles out of his league. Obviously he is better than me, I’m not denying that, but at some points we had some great spars.”

Saturday’s victory was Bellotti’s third in succession after three consecutive defeats.

Asked what he put his upturn in fortunes down to, he responded: “Self-belief, I always believe in myself. Even my wife says ‘you always say you’ll beat him’ and that’s because of who I am. On my day I believe I can beat any fighter in the world.”