Shabaz Masoud managed to find a silver lining from a year-long layoff.

It was never the intention to pull out of a fight especially after having already made weight but the unbeaten prospect was presented with that scenario just three weeks ago. Masoud fell ill and was unable to proceed with a planned junior featherweight clash versus Colombia’s Jose Sanmartin, which was to have aired on the October 21 Jack Catterall-Jorge Linares undercard in Manchester, England.

Matchroom Boxing didn’t waste any time to reschedule the fight, which now tops its own bill.

"I believe everything happens for a reason,” Masoud said during Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference. “When God takes one thing he always gives something better. Now I'm topping the bill in Newcastle.”

The bout headlines a DAZN show this Saturday from Utilita Arena in Newcastle, England.

Masoud (11-0, 4KOs) was forced to extend his inactive period by another three weeks with the unfortunate last-minute postponement. Saturday will mark exactly one full year since his last fight, a 12th round stoppage of Jack Bateson in their battle of unbeaten talents last November 11 on the Sunny Edwards-Felix Alvarado IBF flyweight title fight undercard in Sheffield.

Sanmartin (34-7-1, 21KOs) doesn’t boast as sparkly a ring record but carries world class experience. His losses to Mauricio Lara and Emanuel Navarrete saw both boxers win major titles in their very next outing. The 31-year-old from Barranquilla enters this weekend on the heels of a competitive but clear defeat to unbeaten contender Kevin Gonzalez this past March 25 in Las Vegas.

“Honestly I think he's a good fighter,” admitted Masoud. “I feel like he's a level above the fighters I've fought before but I think i can do a job on him. It's time to go.

“I just feel like I'm levels above. I'm just going to show everyone - especially Sanmartin. I feel like I'm better than him in every aspect."

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (Formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox