“I turned pro in 2006, but was in the army until 2012. I was the first serving soldier to be granted permission to turn professional (Ross was in the rifles). I was Combined Services champion two years in a row – it meant I didn’t actually go back to my batallion until 2006, which is when I wanted to turn pro. I moved back to Sheffield and got a civilian flat and trained at a civilian gym from then on. Used to go to Catterick once a month and talk to recruits about my career – they used me for publicity, putting my face on billboards and the sides of buses around the country. They would march out to the ring with me so it was great PR for them as well, they even got to march out live on Sky Sports.”
No plans are in place for his next fight yet – “we have talked about October but it will more than likely be in November now”. The former soldier now has his career in the hands of Dennis Hobson, a promoter who has done big things for a number of fighters from the North East.
“I’ve known Dennis since I was about 11. I used to carry Clinton Woods’ belt to the ring for him and Dennis was Clinton’s manager and promoter. I was signed with Frank Maloney as a promoter and Glyn Rhodes as my manager then in 2010 I moved on to Ricky Hatton. Once I had got over all the injuries I wanted to look elsewhere – me and Glyn ended up parting company. I ended up then training with Ryan Rhodes and had meetings with several manager and promoters. I believe Dennis was the man for me. Ryan (Rhodes) was one of my heroes growing up so I love having him train me.”
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