LUKE CACI fulfils a lifetime ambition this Saturday night as he makes his professional boxing debut.
The likeable pugilist enjoyed a fruitful amateur career that included 40 victories (from 55 outings), five Midlands titles and a place in a national final.
This weekend, on Hatton Boxing’s ‘Time To Shine’ show in his home county of Staffordshire, the Newcastle-Under-Lyme boxer is hoping to impress when he steps in with Hull’s Andy Neylon.
“I've always wanted to turn professional as soon as I started boxing,” he admitted. “I had 5 years off from the ages of 18 to 23 then I started back up again. I’m 27 now so I feel like it’s the right time to turn over.
“I enjoyed my time as an amateur. I had 55 am fights and I won 40 of those. I won 5 Midlands titles as a junior and senior, I got to the national final once, the semi-finals twice and the quarter-final twice.
“I was to be selected to box for England when I was 18 but my opponent pulled out a couple of days before, so I never got my England vest. A couple of months later I did box the same opponent on an England select squad. I learnt a lot as an amateur and I’m still training at my amateur gym (Orme ABC) so not too much has changed for me.”
Caci is joined by Hatton trained prospects of Nathan Gorman, Reuben Arrowsmith, Sam Evans and Jake Haigh. Craig Morris defends his Midlands Area Welterweight Title against Ryan Fields whilst fellow local fighters Kieron McLaren, Owen Jobburn (both Stoke) and Rob Hunt (Stafford) are also in action.
“I’m ready to go now,” Caci added. “I think my style is suited to the pro game. I’m a fit lad and my best round is always my last round, so the longer the fight is hopefully the better and stronger I will be. I think my fitness will stand me in good stead. I’ll plant my feet and give it my best shot. I’m looking forward to getting in there now. I found out about this show at Christmas and I’ve been in camp ever since. I’m in good shape and ready to get started this weekend.
“I’m excited to be on a Hatton Bill for my first fight. He’s a boxing legend and it’s a real honour.”