MICHAEL Jennings is set to fight Miguel Angel Cotto in a WBO welterweight elimin-ation contest in New York next February.

The WBU champion will take on the 28-year-old Puerto Rican on St Valentine’s Day 2009 for the right to fight for the title.

Current WBO champion Paul Williams, who was another prospective oppo-nent, is expected to vacate the title after opting to fight at light middleweight in his next outing against Verno Phillips for the interim WBO title.

And Jennings will warm up for his date in the Big Apple with a eight-round clash against Doncaster fighter Jason Rushton in Glasgow a week on Friday.

But, while he’s awaiting final confirmation about the purse and the venue, Jennings is concentrating on next week’s bout before his thoughts turn to the Puerto Rican star.

“I have to beat Rushton,” he said. “On paper, it’s an easy fight but I can’t ease off for a second. I’ll need to be at my best to make sure I get to face Cotto.

“They haven’t told me officially but I’ve heard enough from Brian Hughes (Jennings’ trainer) to know that it’s on.

“The prize on offer is potentially massive. He’s one of the biggest names in the division and if I can beat him then I’ll be in line for some really big fights and some big pay days.

“And I’m more than ready to face someone like him. I’ve been British champion and I’m the WBU champion. What’s left?

“I’ve seen him fight loads of times and although he can hit hard, he always gets hit a lot, especially by jabs.

“My jab is one of my better punches. And with my movement and stamina, I know I‘ve got the beating of him.

“I’m just buzzing to be looking forward to a fight like this. I’ll be a rank outsider and I’ve seen what people have written about me on websites. But, to be honest, I couldn’t care less.

“I know what I’m capable of and I’ll let my fists do the talking.”

Cotto will represent a huge step up in class for the Chorley fighter.

The two-weight world champion has an impressive track record with Kelson Pinto, DeMarcus Corley, Paulie Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley among some impressive scalps on his record.

But Jennings has had his training interrupted by the recent death of his friend Neil ‘`Nedder’ Hardy, a member of Jennings’ punk band, The Shoks.

The bass guitarist died after being hit by a lorry last month.