Ekow Essuman is hoping to make a name for himself in professional boxing after his dream of competing at the Olympics ended in heartbreak, writes James Eley.
The former British Lionhearts boxer failed to make it into the GB squad for the Olympics in Rio but now he is setting his sights on making an impact on the professional game as he prepares for his pro bow on Black Country Boxing’s ‘Festive Fight Night’ show at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham City Centre, 1st December.
“I wanted to go professional about two and a half years ago but I got a contract from GB Boxing to box on the Olympic team and so I thought I would give that a good go and secure going to the Olympics,” he told www.uko-boxing.com.
“Unfortunately that fell through at the last minute between me and another boxer but that is behind me now. I have put all the work in with the Olympic team and I have fought a good pedigree of amateur boxers from Olympic Champions to World Champions so I thought it was time for a change.”
Essuman admits he will miss aspects of his time representing the country with the British Lionhearts where he competed against various nations in their own back yard but he is keen to focus on his future. The Nottingham pugilist would be allowed to compete in the next Olympics in Tokyo as a professional in a new ruling that was introduced this summer but the welterweight believes that journey is behind him.
“I fought in various places such as Ukraine and Cuba. I got to travel all over the world so it was a fantastic experience.
“But I have put qualifying for the Olympics behind me. You can go to the Olympics as a professional now but I have other things to focus on so I won’t be going back. I want a World Title belt just like everyone does who is in boxing and I will focus all my efforts on trying to achieve that. I want to work my way up starting at British level. They are all big titles and I will have to put the effort in to get them but you always have to aim for the top or there is no point being in the game.
“I will miss the teammates that I travelled around with and the banter that goes with it. I will still be boxing so that is fine but I will miss getting to travel to all these places with my mates. But I am very happy in my stable with my team now and I can’t wait to get the ball rolling and get it started.
“My style didn’t really suit the amateurs, with the point scoring system I used to have trouble thinking ‘if only there was more rounds.’ I have always had more of a professional style so that is good because I left the amateurs in July so I have had time to knuckle down and fully prepare to change to the professional side so I am sure I won’t have a problem and I am really looking forward to it.
“I am from Nottingham so Birmingham will be close to me. I fought in Birmingham quite a few times as an amateur so that familiarity will be nice. I am looking forward to being able to take my fans with me to Birmingham instead of having to ask them to fly across Europe to watch the fight.”
West Bromwich middleweight, Tom Stokes, goes in search of a first professional boxing title at the top of next Thursday’s dinner show. The undefeated fighter (7-0) faces his toughest test to date when he takes on Plymouth’s always-game Cristian Hoskin –Gomez for the British Middleweight.
Undefeated Wednesbury welterweight, Sam Evans (6-0), is also in action as guests will enjoy three pro fights, a two course meal and an after dinner talk with Ireland’s most successful fighter, Steve Collins.
£60 VIP tickets for tables of ten, with two-course meal, are available by calling 07706 545 102.