Top amateurs, Olympians, and Team GB boxers can often walk into a big promoters deal when turning over from amateur to professional but, for most, the reality is a lesser tickets deal signed to a small hall promoter.
A recent example is when Micky Conlan signed contracts with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions immediately after being controversially eliminated in the Rio 2016 Olympics, and will now make his pro bow at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.
The other side of that coin are the fighters that sign up to a tickets deal with a small hall promoter that subsequently has to be able to sell a high enough quantity before earning any sort of a purse for themselves.
In most cases, the fighter will have to balance a busy training camp around their full-time work schedule.
Former unlicensed boxer Darrel Church (2-1-1), 27 from Essex, was having to cope with running his own painting and decorating business alongside a demanding training schedule and subsequently found himself getting run down and forced to withdraw from fights on more than one occasion through illness.
As such, the 175-pounder has had a stuttering start to his professional career since debuting back in July 2014 at the Grays Civic Hall in Essex.
Church was unbeaten in 11 fights in the thriving unlicensed scene in Essex before turning pro under Carl Greaves Promotions.
However, just four fights in over two years as a pro has been discouraging but a much-needed boost from sponsors MB Surfacing has recently allowed the 175-pounder to train around the clock for his fifth professional fight on December 3rd at London’s York Hall.
The father of one said, “Living the life of a full-time professional is a lot better than what I was doing before where I was flat-out all the time. Now, I’ve got time to rest in-between sessions.
“I get to train three times a day – early morning gym session, a run in the afternoon, then a swim and sauna at night.
“The best thing is the sparring that I’ve managed to get in this camp. I sparred Anthony Yarde this week at the Peacock Gym in Canning Town, so it’s great to be mixing at higher levels to push me on.”
Old habits die hard, however, and the change in schedules has taken time for Church to adapt to, he explained, “As I’ve always worked, it’s ingrained in me and I always think that I should be doing something as I’m so used to being here, there and everywhere.
“Because of that, I found resting in-between sessions hard to do at first because I’ve never really had the time to relax before, so it’s definitely something you’ve got to learn how to do right and I think it’s taken me the whole of this training camp to get used to.
“There’s other benefits on the business side of boxing as I’ve had time to put more posters up around the area and to meet people for tickets.
“I’m not as worried about the ticket sales as I used to be. Usually, I’m running around trying to sell tickets but I’ve got more time to organise and even got a coach going to the York Hall this time.”
Being physically ready is only half of the challenge as the 27-year-old from Witham enlightened, “Mentally, I didn’t manage to get my head into a fight as I’d still be working right up to the day before fight night because I couldn’t afford to have that time off.
“However, this time with three weeks to go, I’m fully focused already.
“Overall, it just makes me feel more like a professional when I’m seeing other people go to work in the mornings while I’m getting ready to go for a run or to visit the gym.”
The festive event promoted by Kevin Campion, titled ‘Christmas Carnage’, features the Southern Area Lightweight Championship contest between Ben ‘The Entertainer’ Day (8-1-1) and Michael ‘Chunky’ Devine (14-5-1).
The winner of that contest will get to see who their first defence will be against as Jamie Arlain (4-0) takes on Andrew Joicey (3-2) in an official eliminator for the title.
Light-Heavyweight prospect Jordan Joseph (5-0-1) competes for the International Challenge Belt against Eric Mokonzo (2-4).
Sohail ‘Showstar’ Ahmad (8-1) also competes for the International Challenge Belt in the super-lightweight division.
The card boasts 11 unbeaten prospects and four debutants, plus former Commonwealth champion John O’Donnell back in action again fresh from his Southern Area welterweight title win on October 1st.
For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962