Jack Bellingham has set himself a number of targets for the New Year, writes James Eley.
‘The Ripper’ will appear on Errol Johnson’s ‘No Love Lost: War of the Roses’ show in his hometown of Plymouth on Saturday, 11th February – sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Plymouth – where he believes he will earn his fourth successive victory as a professional. However, he has set his sights on a Southern Area Title by the end of 2017.
Last time out in October Bellingham endured a frustrating night as he faced Slovakia’s Rudolf Durica who wasn’t keen to exchange too many punches with the 26-year-old. The Plymouth pugilist admits he is eagerly anticipating moving up and facing tougher opponents after stepping in with Welsh journeyman, Matthew Ashmole, next month.
“I am ready to push on,” he told uko-boxing.com. “In a way, it does irritate me because I am used to boxing elite boxers. Now sometimes I am boxing people with different types of styles, some grab you and some just run so it’s good and it is a learning curve for me. I know the professional game is completely different from the amateurs so it is what I have to do and I know that. I just want to get out regularly now and get my career really going places.
“I learn from every fight I have and if you don’t then it is pointless boxing these types of people with different styles. The last guy was so oiled up I couldn’t even grab him because he was that slippery so it is clever really.
“If I am honest I want to step up now. I have wanted to do that from day one. But I have to believe in my coaches and listen to what they say and slowly build my career. It is pointless boxing these top pros now and getting a loss early in my career. I need to build up and learn a lot from these different type of fighters. I have been an amateur since I was twelve and I need time to adapt my style to the pro game. But it is getting there now.
“The only thing I am looking at is Southern Area Title for this year. Then it’s on to the English (Title) and then British(Title). I don’t want to rush my career. I have seen many times people rushing their career, then they lose and then they quit. The last thing I want to do is step up too early and then pack it in but I want to balance that with always pushing forward.
The super welterweight was hampered last year when he picked up a rib injury, as well as finding it difficult to manage family life – Bellingham is proud father to two young boys – with a job as well as training and fighting. However, as his young family grows up, things have settled down somewhat and he is excited to be boxing at home and is hoping to be a regular in the ring in 2017.
“The injury is fully gone and healed. It was fine in the last fight so it will be perfect going into this next one. I have had a bit of physiotherapy on it down here and that completely sorted it out. I thought it was going to be a serious problem but it has sorted now so that is great.
“I am over the moon to be boxing in Plymouth. I have to thank Errol for doing this because without him I would have to box away. I owe a lot to him and he has done good things for me and for Plymouth boxers in general. There wouldn’t be a pro show without him. I don’t want to travel if I don’t have to so I would like to keep boxing down here. It is nice to box at home because more people see you and notice you and you can increase your fan base. But I do want to move around as my career progresses. I was born in Birmingham and I have family there so it would be nice to get a show in the Midlands this year too. Hopefully that can happen for me.
“I have everything I want now to have a good year. I am ready to concentrate on my career now and see how far I can go. The day I stop enjoying it will be the day I stop. This year is going to be a good year for me. I have been training since my last fight and ticking over in the Christmas period and now I am starting to pick it up big time.”
‘No Love Lost: War of the Roses’ takes place at Plymouth Guildhall on Saturday, 11th February. The show is sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Plymouth, who host the weigh-in and Aftershow Party.
Des Newton tops the bill as he takes on Jamie Quinn for the British Challenge Lightweight Title.
Plymouth lightweight, Darren ‘Terminator’ Townley, is also in action alongside Plymouth super featherweight, Chris Adaway, who takes on Bideford’s Ben Owen, Exeter welterweight, Faheem Khan, Launceston welterweight, Wes Smith and Launceston bantamweight, Marcus Hodgson. Plymouth’s Dean Riley completes the card as he debuts at welterweight.
Tickets for ‘War of the Roses: No Love Lost’ are £30 or £50 Ringside and are available by calling: 07473 449 898. Doors open at 6:30pm with boxing commencing at 7:30pm at Plymouth Guildhall, Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 2AA.