The latest instalment of Debutant Watch heads to Bedford to feature middleweight prospect Ermal Dida. Fighting out of Bedford Boxing Club, 25 year old Ermal turns professional under the watchful eyes of experienced coach Carl Hazelwood and manager Winston Fuller. Ermal had a successful career as an amateur boxer and now after ten years in the game feels he is more than ready to launch his professional career.
Ermal will take his first steps through the ropes as a professional fighter on Saturday 14th April at the famous York Hall, Bethnal Green. He will take on Gloucestershire’s Lewis van Poetsch over four, three minute rounds.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I’m originally from Albania and started boxing after watching Luan Krasniqi fight for the European title. I was fourteen at the time and was young and thought I could take on the world. After that I asked my Dad to take me to a boxing gym and have had that fire in my belly since then. I think you really find out if you like boxing after you get hit hard, then you go back looking for revenge.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“My boxing idol is Roy Jones Jr. I know he boxed on a bit too long but in his prime his speed, power, agility and boxing ability was second to none. To go from middleweight to heavyweight and win a world title was amazing.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I had over fifty amateur fights, fifty two in total in think. Fighting out of the Bedford boxing club I was an under 20’s ABA semi-finalist and was in the open class semi-finals too. I won the junior home counties ABA’s and also had trials for the England squad.”
Do you feel the time is right to turn professional?
“Yeah, the time is perfect now. I’m at a good age and at 25 years old I have my man strength. I feel you can turn pro to young when you’re not fully developed, so I have waited until I am ready. Having sponsorship in place from AC&CO has helped a lot on my path to turning pro. I have done all my learning as an amateur, so now I’m ready to turn pro.”
Do you see a difference between amateur and professional boxing?
“So far I have seen two differences. I see the business side of professional boxing now. As an amateur you get a phone call for a fight and you just turn up and box, there are no worries about ticket sales and things like that. As a pro you have to get your tickets sold and then the actual fight is the last thing you think about.
“You also have to train much harder in the pro ranks and take dieting and nutrition much more seriously.”
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I work full time in Criminal Justice. I still manage to train twice a day during the week. I’m up at half four most mornings to get my running done. Then work all day and hit the gym in the evening. I do this because I love the sport of boxing.”
What sort of fighting style will you have in the pro game?
“I am a very technical fighter. I like to say I can pack a good punch but I suppose we will find out soon!”
What ambitions / expectations do you have for your professional career?
“A realistic ambition of mine is to win the British title. Obviously winning a world title is everyone’s ultimate ambition in boxing. When I talk to my manager about my career we both agree I can get to British title level. The plan is after six to eight fights we want to be in-line for a southern area title shot.”