RYAN Aston says his stunning defeat to Curtis Valentine last July has made him a stronger person.

The Dudley middleweight steps through the ropes for the first time this Saturday since being stopped inside two rounds of the Midlands title clash — his first defeat as a professional.

Aston now faces Tyan Booth on the undercard of Carl Froch’s IBF super-middleweight showdown with Yusaf Mack and insists there will be no hangover from the surprise Valentine defeat.

He said: “I’m well over it now, it’s in the past. It was one of those nights where everything which could go wrong did go wrong.

“It was all a mental thing but I feel it’s made me stronger and I’m confident nothing like that will happen again.

“I’ve spent 14 weeks preparing for this fight and had some really good sparring with some really good fighters. I’m ready to go again.”

Aston’s serene progress through the pro ranks, after stopping three of his first seven opponents and earning plaudits from the pundits, came to abrupt halt in the meeting with Valentine.

The Dudley man is now left with plenty to prove but Saturday’s fight marks an even bigger comeback for Booth, who is fighting for the first time since his attempt to win the European title from Gregorz Proksa ended with a fifth round knockout more than two years ago.

Aston feels ring rust could play a factor.

He added: “There is no doubt in my mind I am going to win the fight.

“He is a good fighter but I’m going to be patient and take my time. There is no way I will get drawn into a fight like I did against Valentine.

“I’m going to keep working on the body and then move to the head. I think with the time he has had out of the ring it may prove too much for him.

“There is no way I’m looking past this fight. I can’t afford any more slip ups.”