Matthew Gordon makes his professional boxing debut on Saturday, looking to emulate some of his heavyweight heroes.
The West Bromwich fighter took up combat sports eight years ago, initially to keep fit. After trying his hand, or should that be fist, at both Mixed Martial Arts and white collar boxing, Gordon is ready to prove his worth in the professional boxing ranks.
During his time as a white-collar fighter, Gordon won 20 of his 23 contests and is to make the step into the paid ranks.
“I got into martial arts eight years ago,” he confirmed. “After trying MMA, I moved into boxing and linked up with Mark Richards. He has taken me from strength to strength in the unlicensed game.
“I’ve turned pro because I was on a big winning streak against some of the better guys on the circuit. I was mainly boxing away too, so I’m looking forward to boxing at a better level and leaving all the brawlers behind in the white collar.
“I like to box technically and tidy. I’m really looking forward to my debut and I have been training harder than ever; up to nine times a week.
“I have sessions with Mark in the boxing gym and personal training sessions consisting of boxing specific training, strength training, fitness and resistance training with ex professional footballer Justin Richards. He too has helped improve my overall strength fitness footwork.”
Gordon has lofty ambitions and wants to emulate some of his boyhood boxing heroes such as Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. His first step on that road sees him step in with Leeds’ James Oliphant at Walsall Town Hall this weekend.
“I look up to the old school heavyweights like Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe and Lewis,” he added. “What I like about these boxers is their work rate and skill.
“I know who my opponent is and his record is a bit mixed in terms of his win ratio.
“I’ve watched him on YouTube and he looks like he comes to win, which is good as I’m looking forward to putting on a performance for my supporters. I’ve sold a lot of tickets for this one.”
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are still available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.
The card features a host of Black Country fighters. Walsall’s Dan Breeze takes on York’s Dean Croft whilst fellow Walsall fighter, Luke Paddock, is also in action. The Midlands Area Light Welterweight Champion Paddock warms up for a maiden defence of his strap by taking on Melksham’s Liam Richards.
Wolverhampton middleweight, Ben Wilkes, steps in with Birmingham-based Fabrice Mpata and Ludlow light middleweight, Craig Morris, locks horns with Latvia’s Viktor Drizlionoks.
Redditch super middleweight, Carl Dickens, is also in action as he steps in with Halesowen-based toughman, Kevin McAuley.
Another West Bromwich debutant, super featherweight Jack Summers takes on Sheffields’s Qasim Hussain. All contests are over four rounds.