Nathaniel Collins is in demand. As the man with both the British and Commonwealth titles to his name, every aspiring featherweight in the country has been calling him out, fancying a crack at those belts.

The Bearsden boxer is bemused by the clamour but can also understand it. Not so long ago he was the man trying to get the champions’ attention. Now the 27-year-old has control of his own destiny. He will defend those belts once more this evening, with Zak Miller the latest stepping up to try to stop him.

Both men will arrive in the ring protecting 13-0 undefeated records but that doesn’t tell the full story. While Collins’ back story is littered with competitive 50/50 fights and underdog victories, not a single one of Miller’s previous opponents has a winning record. It all points to one outcome in the Manchester Arena but the Kynoch Boxing fighter won’t get complacent.

“It’s funny how the tables have turned as a couple of years ago I was the guy calling everyone out,” he says. “It’s natural, it comes with the territory now. I’m the champion and everyone thinks they can beat you but I just have to keep taking care of what’s in front of me.

“I was looking at Miller’s record and he’s not put anybody away of note. He doesn’t seem to be a big puncher. But numbers can be deceiving. When I first started out and was fighting journeymen I wasn’t stopping all of them. So we’ll see what he brings in this one. It’s a different story when you’re in there with somebody who wants to have a go. I just have to focus on the task in hand. The records and the numbers don’t matter when you’re inside the ring.”

This is Collins’ second fight under the auspices of Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, a man he is keen to impress. He certainly did that last time around, stopping Raza Hamza in just 24 seconds. It felt like a statement victory against a highly-rated opponent but there is an evident frustration within Collins that he didn’t get to showcase more of his talent.

Desperate to gain the sort of national recognition that has so far eluded him, the only Scot currently holding a British title hopes a clinical dismantling of Miller will finally earn him some respect.

“This time around I should get the chance to show what I could have done in the Hamza fight,” he adds. “I feel that I’m still not getting wider recognition for what I’ve done so far. People still don’t know who I am. I got a bit of exposure last time out but it was over in a flash.

“It wasn’t like it was a barnstormer that had everyone saying, ‘I need to go and find out who that guy is’. Most people don’t understand that Raza was a good opponent and I wiped him out. Folk were saying it was a knock-over job or whatever so I’m going to have to go out there and show what I can do in this one.

“Frank seemed pleased, though, which was good. You don’t usually see him getting up on TV and chatting next to fighters who aren’t his main ones. It was great to get his attention. My family were sitting next to him and he said he was mega-impressed so hopefully it’s the same this time out.”

Headlining a stellar card, that also sees fellow Scot and stablemate Hannah Rankin fighting for a world title, is Nick Ball. The Liverpudlian takes on Isaac Dogboe in what’s been labelled a final eliminator for a shot at the WBC featherweight world title. Should both men continue along the same trajectories then a Ball vs Collins fight seems an inevitability at some point next year.

Collins wouldn’t be against that but the Joe Ham Sr-trained fighter also has his eyes on the European belt as an alternative avenue to the top.

“It’s some night of boxing and judging by the posters it looks like I’m going to be on early so I’m looking forward to taking care of business and then watching the other fights,” he adds. “The card is stacked and I’m a boxing fan so it’s a chance to watch Nick Ball up close.

“I hope he does the job here and then goes on to get the world title as it means a quicker route for me as our names have been linked for a long time. If we both keep doing our jobs then it looks like we’re on a collision course.

“After Miller I’d just need one more defence to keep the British belt and it was meant to be against Hopey Price. If that comes up then I’d take it to win the belt outright. But if that’s not going to happen I need to move forward.

“Ideally I’d like to go for the European belt. My last four or five fights have been against domestic fighters and pretty much all of them title fights since I came back after Covid in 2021. I want to push on now and get to the next level.

“Hopefully Hannah can win the world title and we can then have a big show back at home soon. I need to get recognised more in Scotland as well.”