MIDLANDS manager Carl Greaves isn’t one for hyperbole and soundbites, but when it comes to Sam ‘Bullet’ Bowen, he makes an exception.
Greaves says the 24 year old lightweight is “the best prospect in the country.”
At the very least, he’s the best prospect you haven’t seen.
Bowen has compiled a 6-0 (3) record away from the cameras on small-hall shows, but in the trade, he’s well known.
Too well known for Greaves’ liking.
“Right from the start, managers have told me: ‘Don’t ring if you want someone for Bowen,'” sighed Greaves. “They’ve heard about him from the amateurs. They know he’s an animal.”
Robbie Davies jr, remembering their 2011 ABA championship quarter final, described Bowen as “a psychopath.”
Greaves has found Bowen a good opponent for his next fight, in Barnsley on Friday, September 16.
Abdon Cesar boxed for Cameroon at the London Olympics, but as a pro based in the North East and managed by Chris Aston, he has a patchy record that’s more a reflection of the business he’s in than his capabilities.
Bowen is unaware of all of the above. He doesn’t really follow boxing. Greaves said: “I told Sam we were going up to Manchester to spar Stephen Smith a few months ago and he said:’ Great. Who’s he ?'”
Those in the know regard Bowen as a ferocious, no-nonsense fighting machine who starts fast, hits hard to the body and has a good chin.
He never took a count in 107 amateur bouts with Earl Shilton ABC in Leicestershire – 93 wins – but picked up a few cuts after the head guards came off.
Bowen, from Ibstock, a bleak old pit town in North West Leicestershire, and currently living in Nuneaton, captured Golden Belt, Junior ABA and NACYP honours twice and as a senior, he won four successive golds at the Haringey Box Cup.
In the ABAs, he was outsmarted by quality operators Davies and Josh Kelly in the last eight – the latter had to get off the floor to win a scruffy bout on points in 2013 – but Bowen was too much for Joe Cordina, Louis Adolphe, Sam McNess and Tommy Martin.
The news that ‘Bullet’ planned to turn professional didn’t alert ‘The Big Two’ – Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn – but in the Midlands, there was plenty of interest.
Greaves got Bowen and told the local press he had snapped up “the best prospect I’ve ever had.”
Six fights into his pro career, Greaves, who twice challenged for British honours in the early Noughties, has seen nothing to change his mind.
He said: “For his weight, Sam is exceptionally strong, he’s quick and he has a good engine. He’s relentless and he doesn’t run out of steam.
“If a fight comes up at lightweight we will think about it, but his future is at 9st 4lbs.
“People talk about Zelfa Barrett and Leon Woodstock, but I believe Sam is levels above them.
“At super-featherweight, I don’t think they will keep him off them.”