Gary Rae has revealed he is hoping to use his comeback fight next month as a stepping stone back to the Hydro.

The Barrhead boxer has been out of the ring since suffering his first professional loss on October 6 at the Lagoon Centre in Paisley, but that hasn’t stopped him targeting more big nights at Scotland’s largest indoor arena.

 Rae took his legion of fans to the 13,000 capacity venue twice last year, featuring on WBC Silver Super Lightweight champion Josh Taylor’s undercard.

Thirty-year-old super-bantamweight Rae saw off Hungarian Zoltan Horvath with a fourth round stoppage last March before easing to a unanimous decision win over Johnson Tellez of Nicaragua just three months later at the same venue.

That Tellez bout in June was televised on Channel 5 with Rae’s boisterous following making plenty of noise for the cameras.

Rae has fond memories of those big nights, describing that period as one of the happiest times in his life - and is looking for more of that when Taylor once again takes to the Hydro to take on IBF Super Lightweight world champion Ivan Baranchyk on May 18.

Barrhead News: All smiles as Rae poses with his team after seeing off Zoltan Horvath at the Hydro last year All smiles as Rae poses with his team after seeing off Zoltan Horvath at the Hydro last year

“I’ve been in touch with Cyclone Promotions to try and get on the Taylor undercard at the Hydro next month at the World Boxing Super Series,” Rae told Barrhead Sport. “They will get back in touch with me soon, so a win in April at the Lagoon Centre could see me back out again in May at the Hydro. It’s all ifs and buts right now but it’s still an exciting prospect.

“Nothing is guaranteed of course but I would absolutely love to fight at the Hydro again.

“Just recently, I was looking back at some photos of my fights there last year - they were two of the best nights of my life. 

“Seeing all my friends there and to have the crowd signing my name was so special. I would love to recapture that. A couple of good wins to get myself back into a strong position and there could be some big nights out again for everyone in Barrhead.

“I can’t describe the feeling of fighting at the Hydro with hundreds of fans signing my name. My wee nephew always asks me what it was like but it’s just too hard to describe. 

READ MORE: Rae counting down the minutes until his April comeback

“I’ve had five months out so I just can’t wait to get back to experience those kind of nights again.”

Rae admits that while those five months away from the sport were difficult at times, the extended break has only made him more determined to come back even stronger.

His loss to Motherwell’s Scott Allan in a bout for the vacant Celtic Bantamweight crown back in October, the only defeat of his professional career, was a difficult one to take and seemed to knock his confidence with the Barrhead man admitting he asked himself some serious questions about his future in the sport. 

But, after renewing his boxing license, passing his annual medical and lining up a number of sparring sessions, Rae knew he was ready for the comeback.

Barrhead News: Rae set to make ring return at the Paisley Lagoon Centre on April 6Rae set to make ring return at the Paisley Lagoon Centre on April 6

“I had two and a half months when I didn’t train at all after that Allan loss,” he admitted. “I had just moved into a new house so I was working day and night which kept my mind off the loss. I didn’t have time to dwell on it right away, but when I did eventually get some time to sit down and think about it, I was quite down - I can’t lie and say it was all fine. 

“Getting back to training a couple of months after the loss, you remember how hard it all is. Losing the weight and finding the motivation to train and spar every night after work is hard. When you’ve got some time away from it, you question whether or not you want to go back. 

“I did ask myself that question and, to be honest, the answer was absolutely. Boxing is a short career and I did take it up quite late so who knows how many years I have left. I want to give it all I’ve got in that time - however long that may be. 

“I just hope what I have left is enough to bring home some titles before I do eventually retire.”

Looking ahead to his big comeback fight, Rae has yet to find out who will join him in the ring come April 6 - one thing he does know, however, is that whoever he agrees to fight will be at a suitable weight after he struggled to drop down a class for the Celtic title shot.

READ MORE: Not to be as Rae misses out on Celtic bantamweight crown

He added: “I actually don’t know my opponent yet, that will be decided in the next week or two. I do know my team are actively looking for opponents right now.

“I’ll definitely be back fighting at super-bantamweight thankfully. I won eight fights before the Allan loss at that weight. I stupidly went down to bantamweight for title shot and it just didn’t work. It was just trial and error. 

“At my age, I was thinking I had to go for it if there was a chance of winning a big title. I thought I may as well give it a shot but I just wasn’t able to put in a performance worthy of winning that night. In boxing, you either win or you learn.”