Young Mutley makes his debut on national television this weekend when he fights for the British welterweight title, but there was a time he feared he would be a star of CCTV.

The 29-year-old West Bromwich Albion fan can thank boxing for putting his life back on track after a wayward youth that saw him endure a spell at Her Majesty's Pleasure.

Lee Woodley adopts the alias Young Mutley after his father - "he was a bit of a lad when he was younger and known as Mutley," he says - and he is the classic tale of a troubled soul offered redemption by boxing.

* What do you think? Visit our messageboard and give us your opinion. *

Operating out of Errol Johnson's Wednesbury stable ensured that all the light-welterweight division's bright young things have avoided Mutley, so he has taken a big gamble to finally gain national recognition.

The Amir Khan roadshow rolls into Nottingham on Saturday with the wunderkind pitting his wits against Vitali Martynov.

More than 8,000 tickets have been sold and top of the bill is Mutley's British title fight with unbeaten Michael Jennings.

His foe is one of Frank Warren's proteges and Mutley has already been written off by boxing scribes who haven't ventured to a small-hall show for decades.

If they had seen Mutley, backed by a legion of partisan supporters, pummel his way to victory at Dudley Town Hall on numerous occasions, then they might offer a different viewpoint.

Sure, Jennings is a class act (28-0), but Mutley has only suffered one loss in 20 professional fights and will have the backing of 500 fans with high expectations.

Yet Mutley owes a big debt of gratitude to both trainer and mentor Johnson as well as his trusted corner man Bob Plant for their role in his renaissance.

Mutley's brooding demean-our ensures that boredom and turmoil plagues him away from the ring and long periods of inactivity have had a demoralising effect.

But, now that his life is back on the straight and narrow, he aims to bring the first British title back to the West Midlands since Roy Rutherford lifted the featherweight version in May 2003.

"The part of West Bromwich I am from is very rough and there were a lot of drugs around, so boxing definitely saved me from a bad life," he said. "I used to get picked on when I was younger and I decided to take up boxing because I wanted to look after myself.

"I went to jail for nine months when I was 20. I assaulted a police officer in West Bromwich when I was drunk and I'm not proud of it.

"I started at Brinsford and then spent time at Lancaster Farm in Blackpool. It was a massive wake-up call for me.

"I didn't want to spend my life in and out of prison. I stopped drinking and got back into boxing.

"Errol and Bob have been really good and kept me going when I couldn't see any benefit.

"This chance is long over-due for me and I have thought about knocking it on the head because I was getting so frustrated.

"If I hadn't have got this British title fight then I don't know what incentive I would have had to keep going.

"Jennings has never faced any one with my punching power before and when I hit him, he will know about it," added a bullish Mutley.

"He is a good fighter, but I am not going to Nottingham to lose and I want to knock him out inside the distance.

"But if it has to go 12 rounds then I am ready for him. After all the dark days of going to prison, winning the British title will make all the sacrifices worthwhile.

"It will mean everything to me."

Johnson is suitably proud of Mutley and is optimistic the jewel in his crown can make an impression at national level.

The workaholic promoter/trainer has strived manfully to try and negotiate a worthwhile title fight for the former English light-welterweight belt-holder.

But he has repeatedly banged his head against a plethora of brick walls as richer, more influential promoters have pulled rank.

Nevertheless, he has finally landed the chance of a lifetime for Mutley and he believes the auguries are good for success, despite stepping up in weight.

"Mutley might be stepping up a weight, but that is a blessing in disguise for me," said Johnson.

"He won't have to struggle to make the weight now and he will be bigger and stronger than Jennings on the night and he will have to be one hell of a kid to get through one of Mutley's sledgehammer punches.

"He should have had this chance a long time ago, but they have kept him in the background as he is dangerous.

"This will be a special evening and it will be brilliant if Mutley wins," he added. "I went into boxing to try and help my fighters win British titles and to win a major title would really put our gym on the map.

"If Mutley hits him with one of his hammer blows, then it will be all over."