The momentum, as it was for so many, was then snapped by the coronavirus pandemic. “Last year nearly decimated me,” says Pittal. “I’ve got a folder as thick as a phone book with all the fights I had cancelled.”
But now, with restrictions easing, Pittal has arranged his first title fight in a British ring, as he will bring in Malawi’s Ellen Simwaka to vie for the vacant Commonwealth super-bantamweight belt against Liverpool’s Carly Skelly in Houghton le Spring on October 23.
“It’s a high point for me, putting on a match with the blessing of the British Boxing Board of Control and the Commonwealth Council,” he says.
While a lifelong fan, Pittal is relatively new to the business side of boxing, but it’s not his first run in combat sports. A previous incarnation as an arm wrestling promoter was also thanks to spotting a trend and taking a leap of faith.
“On my market stall in Walthamstow I had a greengrocer to my left and a dress stall to my right, and not a day would go by when they wouldn’t have a disagreement or come to blows,” he says. “So I stepped in and said ‘Why don’t you settle your differences over an arm wrestle?’
“That  Stallone movie, Over The Top had just come out so everyone was talking about arm wrestling and I could sense an opportunity. I said better still, make it a charity event. This was not long after the Zeebrugge ferry disaster, so I said why not send the money to them? They agreed, so I set this match up and did it in a local pub.