A FIRST professional title is on the line for Caoimhin Agyarko on Saturday as the West Belfast middleweight begins a new chapter in his career.

'Black Thunder' tangles with California's Noe Larios Jnr for the vacant WBA International title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool (live on DAZN) as he fights for the first time under the promotional banner of Matchroom having signed with Eddie Hearn after recruiting Paul Ready as manager.

Agyarko, who recently turned 25, has been hugely impressive as a professional, building a record of 9-0 with six of those inside the distance, but there was a sense that things were getting a little stale having fought just once this year.

With a new team guiding his career, there seems to be a renewed sense of direction and rounding off the year with a fringe title that will get him into the world rankings would be a perfect way to enter 2022 that looks full of promise.

"I've got new management and a promoter, so it's a new chapter for me and I'm buzzing to get started," said the former Holy Trinity amateur standout who will remained trained by Al Smith and Eddie Lam from the iBox Gym in London.

"I feel like there's better opportunities and step-up fights for me with Eddie and we definitely do have a step-up in this fight.

"He's an unbeaten opponent at 14-0, so he's definitely coming to win. This is going to be for the WBA International, so I will have my first title in this fight.

"I'll be ranked in the top 15 or top 20 in the world and I can start progressing and moving up the rankings from there. I think we'll go the European route and hopefully onto world honours."

Larios may come in unbeaten, but just one of those 14 wins have come against opposition with a winning record and this fight will so Agyarko's résumé is much more impressive.

Aside from one bout in Florida, he has boxed exclusively in Mexico and he will certainly feel a long way from home come the opening bell.

The visitor will still enter with confidence having only known victory and that will ensure he travels with confidence and intent, a factor Agyarko welcomes as he predicts he is ready to put on a career-best display.

"I've watched bits and pieces of him: He's decent; he's tall - about 6'1 or 6'2 - so it will be a challenge for me and I think it will bring out the best in me," he insists.

"If you look at my record, I think I have only fought three opponents with negative records and the rest have had a winning record, so I haven't really fought out-and-out journeymen. I've stepped it up every single time, so this is another step-up and I fell like I'm really starting to go through the gears now.

"Training camp has be a very long, tough, gruelling camp for me, so I can't wait until t he 11th because the better the opponent, the better I will perform."

The plan is to get his hands on this title and on the ladder to bigger fights and huge nights back in his home city.

Agyarko has boxed in Belfast just once as a pro, but the plan is for all that to change with Hearn and Ready both on record stating they plan to build their all-action charge into a major star back in his home town.

"We plan on being back in Belfast next year," Agyarko confirmed.

"That has been talked about a lot with Eddie and it's one of the main reasons I signed with him.

"Their vision mirrors mine and they agreed to bring me back home next year and also over to the States. We want to be kept busy and start bringing big nights back to Belfast.

"I've got an unbelievable fan-base and 150 people coming to Liverpool two weeks before Christmas, so I want to get back home next year and have a big night there."

Caoimhin Agyarko with Katie Taylor at Thursday's press conference

Caoimhin Agyarko with Katie Taylor at Thursday's press conference

The Belfast man will not just benefit from his travelling support on the night, but from the rest of the Irish who will be inside the Echo Arena cheering on Katie Taylor who defends her undisputed lightweight crown against Firuza Sharipova.

Add in those tuning in from home and across the globe and there is the opportunity to win over even more support that would be an added bonus to the WBA International title.

An impressive performance and decisive win is expected and should that occur, it would leave him in a very nice place heading into what could be a breakout year in 2022.

"It's an honour to be fighting on Katie Taylor's undercard - a dream come true for me," added the Turf Lodge man.

"I rate Katie so highly so it will give me the exposure to showcase my skills.

"A lot of people will be tuning in for this one with Conor Benn fighting Chris Algieri, so I look forward to a very good night of boxing.”