AUSTRALIAN amateur cruiserweight boxing champion Tristan Maskell will set out to defend his title in Sydney next week.
Maskell, of Bonnells Bay, won the title in Hobart last year.
He said hosting the event on the island state might have deterred some boxers from competing in 2018.
He expects a larger and stronger field to contest the Australian Amateur Boxing League Inc titles at Club Punchbowl from Thursday, November 28, to Saturday, November 30.
Maskell trains at the Team Machine Boxing Club gym, in Toronto.
Trainers Daniel Ford, Chad Griffiths, Matt Ford and the gym's owner, the professional boxer, Blake Minto, are his mentors.
"Training is going well. I'm feeling fit and strong," Maskell said.
Maskell said he won't know who the contenders are for his title until the draw is held at the club on Thursday.
Newcastle boxer Jack Clements is expected to be one of the leading challengers for the cruiserweight title.
In October, Maskell defeated Clements to claim the NSW amateur cruiserweight title in a split-points decision.
Chad Griffiths said Maskell had benefited from sparring with some professional boxers, and he continued to improve.
He said the handlers were in no hurry, however, to see Maskell make the jump into the professional ranks, even if he were to win a second national title in Punchbowl.
Maskell is likely to make it onto the national selectors' radar for the 2022 Commonwealth Games if he wins next week.