WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe is still confident of landing the "big fight" he craves before hanging up his gloves in two years.
The Welsh star, who is set to fight Irishman Brian Magee in Belfast on 18 March, admitted that he had wanted a unification fight with Mikkel Kessler.
But he stressed the need to get back in the ring after a quiet couple of years.
"The big fight will come - I have to be optimistic. But first, I must fight a good fighter," Calzaghe told BBC Sport.
"I can't afford to be as lacklustre as I was last time," the 32-year-old said of his points win over Egyptian Kabary Salem.
"To be honest, I was looking for unification fights and I'd spoken to [promoter] Frank Warren about taking on Kessler or maybe even light heavyweight Glen Johnson.
"But obviously I need to keep busy after fighting twice last year and only once the year before.
"It makes sense to fight a local boy and Brian is a world-class fighter as far as I'm concerned.
"I don't think he's top-draw world class, but he's a southpaw as well, which has caused me problems.
"In the past when I've fought fighters in their own backyard, I've fought better and this is one I can win by knockout."
Calzaghe denied that he was facing a race against time to improve his world status.
"I don't think time is against me, but I want to box for two more years tops and go out at the top.
"I think patience will pay off this year in a unification fight with Kessler - who is a good fighter - or even Johnson."