Three of Bedford-based East Area Boxing Academy’s brightest prospects have joined the professional ranks after signing with promoter Mervyn Turner of Shamrock Boxing.
Julian Wilson (28), plus 23-year-olds Michael Stephenson and Micky Mills have been cutting through the amateur ranks over the last couple of years and Turner now believes the time is right for them to take a step up in class.
He said: “These guys are all on similar timelines.
“They’ve worked hard and now they’re ready to turn over. Things are going to get a lot harder for them now.
“The training’s going to get a lot more intensive, the nutrition needs to be right, it’s going to be tough, and it’s going to get expensive.
“They’ll be training three times a week when they’re in the run-in to a fight, and they’ll be eating five times a day as standard, it’s a full-time job.”
East Area Boxing Academy head coach Sid Thompson explained: “The struggle we’re faced with is access to the right facilities at the right time.
“These guys still need to earn a living so their training needs to fit around the financial commitments they have – you try getting a gym to open up at 11.30pm or 4.30am, hence, we’re looking for a space we can use, potentially, 24 hours a day.
“If we can get the right support in place, marry the right commercial sponsors to the athletes and secure an appropriate environment to work in, these guys will go a long way, of that I’ve no doubts.”
The trio’s first fights in the paid ranks are planned for later this year, in Bedford, with a fully professional undercard made up of fighters from the surrounding area.
Turner added: “This area has always been a hotbed of boxing talent.
“I think it’s had something of a lull; well, that’s certainly changing – I think it’s time to put Bedford back on the boxing map.”
Interest, commercial or otherwise, should be directed to Thompson by calling 07971 349 557.