SOUTHAMPTON boxer Joe Pigford believes he will soon become "one of the best in the country" after another resounding victory on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old took his professional record to 20-0, with a third-round stoppage of Ghana-born Raphael King at the Bournemouth International Centre, in what was billed as a Commonwealth super-welterweight championship eliminator.

It means Pigford has now knocked out 19 of his 20 opponents so far, with hopes of a potential world title fight in his sights.

Speaking live on Sky Sports after his victory over King, which closed the show at the BIC after hometown favourite Chris Billam-Smith had defended his Commonwealth and European cruiserweight belts with a points win over Isaac Chamberlain, Pigford said: "Obviously a massive, massive show. Brilliant crowd.

"This whole camp has been a long camp. I’ve been training since January, obviously I postponed my last fight, had a little shoulder niggle, carried on training through all that, back-to-back with my last fight and I’m here (at the BIC) and then I’m on at 11 o’clock.

"So I’m glad to get it over and done with. I want to go home and go on holiday for two weeks!"

Asked if he hopes to fight for titles next, potentially against IBO light middleweight champion Sam Eggington, Pigford added: "I’d take the Sam Eggington fight in a heartbeat.

"That’s a fight I definitely would like. There’s no point saying what I want to happen now, because as you can see, nothing goes to plan. I was supposed to be fighting for a title (on Saturday) until three days ago.

"No fault of anyone at Sky, my manager, working behind the scenes doing everything they can. But everything went wrong. It’s one of those things. But after a long, long camp and a long, long day, I’m just happy to put it to bed.

"I think I boxed very well, didn’t take any risks and we move on from there."

Of his 20 victories so far, only one had gone beyond five rounds, stopping Simone Lucas in the sixth way back in 2015.

"It’s not just the power, I think I’ve got a good boxing brain," said Pigford, when quizzed about his winning record.

"I’ve got good ring IQ, my footwork is good. Obviously I think it takes better opponents to bring it out of me, anyone that wants to say I’ve got a built record, I haven’t boxed brilliant people, but that’s through no fault of my own.

"So you can say what you want, look at me in five fights' time, look at me in two or three fights' time, when I’m one of the best in the country and then say what you want about it."

He added: "They can be dead bodies, if you’ve got to knock them out, you’ve got to knock them out, haven’t you?

"It doesn’t matter who you’re knocking out, you’re putting them on the floor, unconscious, whatever.

"The same as my opponent (King), it doesn’t matter who he was fighting, he’d knocked 13 out of 15 out so he had a punch.

"He felt strong enough. I just wanted to keep out the way and do what I did basically, a clinical performance I think."