Looking to bounce back from a points loss to Angelo ‘Concrete’ Crowe (2-6) in June this year, Church has switched camps to prepare for his all-important comeback fight on a Carl Greaves Promotions show.
“I’m booked to fight on the next show at the Grays Civic Hall on December 3rd,” the former unlicensed star said. “It’s a different event to normal as it’s a dinner show and the tickets are £75 each.
“There won’t be a whole lot of money in this fight for me but that’s ok because I don’t care about the money, I just want to get back in there and fight.
“My manager, Carl Greaves is going to line me up with a decent opponent, I learnt so much in the last fight that I’m ready to take on better challengers, and there’s no way I will taste that feeling of defeat again.”
Formerly fighting out of The Fight Farm with Kevin Lilley, Church opted to change over to Mark Massow’s gym, located closer to home.
“Basically, I was looking at a fresh start so I’ve left my trainer Kevin Lilley to train in Witham, which is just five minutes away from me,” said ‘The Baptist’. “All boxers change camps at some point and Kevin and I are still mates so we parted well.
“I explained to him that the gym was 25 minutes travelling time away from me which doesn’t sound like a lot to some people but it’s there and back and, when you’ve got a young family and work commitments, it can be hard.
“Training closer to home with Mark Massow is a lot better as it’s literally just around the corner so I don’t have to rush back from work like before.”
Firefighter Mark Massow, a former paratrooper with the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment in Aldershot, used to train pro boxers working with Frank Maloney but decided to concentrate on the amateurs already under his wing instead.
The 42-year-old also coached his regiment’s boxing team, leading them to win the Army Championships in 1998.
Now serving in the London Fire Brigade based in Barking, Massow has a mix of amateurs and pros, and also has debutant Justin Johnson on his books.
New coach, Massow said, “The Witham gym is a new venture about to open so Darrel’s been using my home gym in Great Leighs, Chelmsford and will continue to train there until the Witham gym opens.”
Of his new leadership, Church beamed, “It’s nice to have that fresh start to give you the motivation and I’m lucky that all of the attention is on me. He does have another pro on his books but he trains us all separately.
The 175-pounder from Tiptree continued to praise, “He’s a great coach and we’ve been doing everything so there’s loads of pad work, bag work, sprints, hill runs, and sparring.
“There’s little things that he has picked up on like with my guard for one, he makes a lot of fuss about every single punch thrown so he’s all about the detail.
“He’s steering me well and looking after my best interests, I’m just eager for more.”
Church understandably took his first defeat badly, having not lost in two fights as a pro and 11 bouts on the unlicensed circuit.
However, the switch in gyms has revitalised the downcast boxer and December 3rd will see his return to the ring in what will be the fourth outing in his first 18 months as a pro.
“I’ve been watching boxing every night on my iPad, studying fighters, thinking about it all the time, and I’ve definitely got the buzz back!” confirmed Church.
‘The Baptist’s’ former teammate Paul Hilz (2-1) headlines the show vying for the new English Challenge middleweight title.
Idris Hill (1-0) competes in his second six-threes, successfully defeating Dan Carr (3-76-2) on his debut on October 17th in the familiar venue.
Joe Jackson Brown (3-0) stopped tough Lithuanian Egidijus Kakstys (5-24-2) in the final 20 seconds of their four round bout last time out, earning a second stoppage in his trio of pro fights.
The light-heavyweight who came through the ranks of the Queensbury Boxing League is heavy-handed and will be looking for another stoppage on his unbeaten ledger.
Welterweight John Wheatley (1-0) from Harwich enters into his second pro bout over four three-minute rounds. He kicked off his debut with a shut-out points victory over veteran Matt Seawright (5-124-5) in a six two-minute rounds welterweight contest on October 17th at the same venue.
Middleweight debutant Paul Southwick kicks off his pro career over four three-minute rounds.
Follow Darrel ‘The Baptist’ Church on Twitter @Darrel_Church89