BURY boxer Scott Quigg is aiming to be top of the world again in 2018.

The 29-year-old former WBA World Super Bantamweight champion believes he is back on track to the top after a positive year in the ring and looks like having a shot at a world title again with a deal to fight WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in March close to being rubber-stamped.

Following a first professional defeat to Carl Frampton in February 2016 and a jaw injury that saw a lengthy lay-off, Quigg switched trainers to leave Bolton-based Joe Gallagher behind and team up with Freddie Roach at the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

The Bury star also moved up to featherweight and after a first victory against Jose Cayetano at the end of 2016, he has gone on to add two more victories to his record in 2017 – one in front of a huge crowd at Wembley Stadium on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's memorable victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April before his last triumph in Monte Carlo against Oleg Yefimovych in November.

Speaking exclusively to the Bury Times, Quigg admits he is pleased with the progress made in the past 12 months under Roach but is determined to regain a world title in the new year.

He said: "I have to say 2017 was good for me.

"I have got back on the horse after the Frampton defeat and obviously changed trainers.

"I believe it is the best thing I have done.

"Since joining Freddie, I have started to love my boxing once again.

"It was a good year with getting a couple of fights under my belt and wins at featherweight.

"To fight at Wembley Stadium on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko fight was an amazing experience.

"The year started well for me and ended even better with the good win in Monaco.

"I am now in line as mandatory challenger to face the winner of Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares and I believe I can beat either of them.

"On my day I know I am good enough to get a world title again.

"I want the big fights and want to become a two-weight world champion.

"That is the aim for this year and hopefully it will be a dream realised against Valdez in March."

The Bury star feels comfortable at featherweight and says he is still improving as a fighter.

He added: "Featherweight suits me and I have had three fights at the weight now and feel I am still getting better.

"I am filling out into the weight and my body is adapting to the division.

"It is all coming together well ahead of what I hope will be big fights in 2018 – a world title shot is my aim.

"I feel I am improving all the time under Freddie (Roach).

"There are some negative comments I hear and some criticism but I take it on board.

"I analyse myself more than anyone.

"Rather than watch the fights back and look at the good things I did, I look at the ways to improve.

"I want to be the very best and am a student of the game. I will work and work and Freddie is helping me to improve.

"I would rather be in America training for big fights than stay in the UK and maybe not win.

"I know my fan base is still back home but I think this move has benefited me."

Quigg has not only had to adapt to a switch in trainers and boxing weight in the past 12 months, moving to train stateside has also seen upheaval for the homely lad from Bury.

His mum, Lynsay, has been beside him in Los Angeles supporting her son and while it may have been a culture shock for him at first, Quigg is happy with life on California's west coast.

Though there is one home comfort he misses from back home in Lancashire – the food from his nan's, Sheila Rowles, Brandlesholme Road chippy.

He went on: "People ask me if it is hard being at camp in America but I honestly don’t find it difficult.

"It is different, of course, but I know why I’m doing it.

"I am doing it to be the best I can be at something I love.

"I don’t want to sit on the couch back in Bury in 10 years’ time and wonder ‘what if?’

"I don’t want to have any regrets when I am retired.

"I take my mum out to America with me – she’s my best friend and to have her supporting me is great.

"I have to admit, though, there is one thing I miss from back home and that’s my nan’s chippy.

"After the Monaco fight I had to go and have pudding, chips and gravy – my favourite meal – as a treat.

"You definitely don’t get chips like my nan’s in Los Angeles!"