Conah Walker reckons he will pay homage to Ricky Hatton with his style upon debuting as a pro this weekend.
He will engage in a paid bout for the first time with boxing legend Hatton in his corner at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday (September 22).
The four-round contest features on BCB Promotions show, which is topped by a 10-round title fight.Tyler Denny, from Rowley Regis, and Leeds’ Reece Cartwright will collide for the vacant English middleweight crown in a hotly-anticipated main event.
It’s just as big a fight night for Walker, who will have ‘the Hitman’ leading him into battle as his new coach. The two have been hard at work at Hatton’s gym in Hyde.
He joins the welterweight pro division where Hatton is a former world champion looking to make a big impact himself.
He’s a graduate of Merridale Boxing Club in his home city of Wolverhampton and left the amateur ranks with a record of 30 wins from 33 fights.
Glories in the vest included two national titles in the England Development Championships and a run to the national semi-finals of the England Elite competition.
He has been engaging with the pros since he was still with Merridale and sparred the current Midlands super welterweight champion, Ryan Kelly, in 2017.
“Merridale have been very supportive, they’ve put my poster up in the gym and there will be plenty of them cheering me on at Walsall Town Hall,” he told bcb-promotions.com.
“It will be like fighting on one their club shows when I hear that I want to thank them for giving me my start in the sport and everything they’ve done for me. I’ve sparred with Ryan Kelly before, it was about a year ago. He’s a good lad and a decent fighter, so to be in that company while I was still an amateur tells you I can cope.
“I was put in touch with Ricky Hatton through a friend, I went up to his gym for a little trial and went on the pads. He like me and invited me back to spar. It just went on from there. Ricky is a fantastic coach and one of the best friends you could ask for. He’s just a normal bloke, really, but he demands respect.
“When you go in to train and see his world titles on the wall, it reminds you why you’re boxing. Every fighter dreams of what he’s done.
“I class myself as a body puncher and I’ve teamed up with one of the best body punchers of all time. It’s a great mix. I’m confident in my ability and that I can cause anyone problems. I want to become a British champion, at the least.”
Saturday’s undercard also features James Beech Jr, Ryan ‘Stewart’ Davies, Dani Hodges, and Troi ‘the Hawk’ Coleman.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard and £65 VIP ringside, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It will be £40 for entry on the door.
The Grosvenor Casino Walsall, on Bentley Mill Way, are the show’s headline sponsors. They will host the weigh in and after-show party (over 18’s). Fight fans can receive a ticket for the show, a bet, burger and beer at the casino post-fight, plus a free taxi from the Town Hall to the casino, and watch AJ versus Povetkin on the big screens for just £40! Interested in this special offer? Call Dawn now on 01922 645 222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.