Heavyweight Bill Hodgson looks to future after long wait for pro licence

Looking to build on his winning debut in his hometown in December, Blackpool heavyweight Bill Hodgson has his second paid contest this weekend; a scenario that the 33 year old admits looked unlikely after a long battle to pass the Board of Control’s stringent medical tests and gain his pro licence.

Undeterred however, and with the backing of manager, Neil Marsh, the former Kirkham ABC star is philosophical about where his future in the game lies. He is more than happy to take every fight as it comes.

He said: “I turned over late but it wasn’t through any lack of desire. As an amateur I always believed I had the style and determination to succeed as a pro but, when I first did my medical, there were a few discrepancies and the Board initially knocked me back. To say I was gutted would be an understatement but, with Neil’s help, I took a few more tests, got a second opinion and, after nearly three years, I eventually passed with flying colours. There’s no problem at all now and I’m eager to get more fights, learn from them and move on.”

Admitting that it was a frustrating time, Hodgson says the experience has made him more realistic, an attitude much in demand in a division often prone to hyperbole. “I was made up to finally get my licence and I’m looking forward to a busy year. I’ll take each fight one at a time and see where it goes.”

Mirroring his fighters motivation to prove himself in the fight game, manager Neil Marsh is equally happy at what lies ahead for Hodgson. “Bill’s a great lad and, whilst the problems he’s had over the past two years or so could have seen him turn his back on the game, he didn’t waver at all. He was determined to fight and I’m more than happy to have helped him along that path. He’s an exciting fighter and boxing fans can expect to see a lot of him this year.”

Hodgson will fight on a dinner show at Liverpool’s Devonshire House Hotel on Saturday 5 March. Liverpool prospect Robbie Davies jnr meets Finland’s Jarrko Putkonen for the vacant WBA Continental super-lightweight belt on the same card whilst Kirkham’s Adam Little faces Sheffield’s Sam Matkin. Tickets at £60 and £100 (VIP) available from @adamlittle12 07585 771305 and @alanlevene 07868 524421