After a seven year absence, St Helens’ heavyweight, Rob Beech, will make his return to professional boxing on the undercard of the Robbie Davies jnr v Michal Syrowatka WBA International super-lightweight title clash at the Liverpool Convention Centre on 31 March.
Although such a break may puzzle some, Beech has spent most of that time not just fighting in other codes, but also performing well in them. Indeed, if his appearance is anything to go by, his on-off careers in both MMA and kick boxing have kept the young looking 35-year old in great condition.
A former amateur with the famous St Helens’ ABC – where he trained with Martin Murray and under the tutelage of legendary coach, John Chisnall – Beech made his pro boxing debut, aged 26, in November 2008 and quickly reeled off four wins in the next 12 months. His final pro contest came in 2011 – another win – but the St. Helens’ man is keen to stress he hasn’t been what many would call ‘inactive’ since then.
“Far from it,” he says. “After my last pro boxing fight I had a go at semi-professional MMA and then, after doing well at that, turned fully professional were I was good enough to win a British title. I then did some kick boxing and drew in a world title fight so it’s not like I’ve been out of the gym for years or not been training in those seven years. I’ve been active most of the time and have been fighting at a decent level.”
Reflecting on his return to professional boxing, Beech also revealed that the chance to fight for his former manager, Neil Marsh, was too good an opportunity to turn down, especially with the renewed focus a young family and title ambitions bring.
He said: “Me and my partner, Sam, had a baby, Logan, in the summer and so I didn’t train for a while obviously but when Neil asked me if I wanted to fight again I thought it was the right time to come back both professionally and personally. I’ve been in the gym since late 2017 and have lost near three stone to get back in shape. I feel fresh, strong, determined and we are confident we can fight for titles either later this year or early in 2019. That’s the target, to fight often, get the wins and win titles.”
On Beech’s return to not only fighting but also doing so under his management, Marsh said: “Rob’s a good friend of mine and a great fighter and I’m delighted he’s returning on this show. It’s not like he’s been out of the ring in his absence – he’s done really, really well in other codes – and we’re going to have a real go at bringing some titles back to St Helens.
“He’s always exciting and the fans on the night can certainly expect more of the same. I can’t wait for fight night now. Everything is in place for a great night’s boxing ”
Beech will face experienced Hungarian heavyweight, Ferenc Zsalek on Saturday and, with a mix of local talent and emerging prospects, the bill – co-promoted by Kieran Farrell and Neil Marsh – will also feature Liverpool’s Lee Boyce and Brian Phillips, Warrington pair Danny Craven and Courtney Chadwick, Southport’s Jake Barton, Ellesmere Port’s highly ranked Mason Cartwright and undefeated London super-middleweight, Lerrone Richards.
A small number of tickets, priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 (VIP) – plus booking fee – for Beech’s return at Liverpool’s BT Convention Centre (The Auditorium) on Saturday 31 March, are available from 0344 8000 400 and the Liverpool Echo Arena website http://www.echoarena.com/whats-on/a-night-of-championship-boxing/
The weigh-in, open to the public, for all contests takes place at Liverpool’s Jury’s Inn at 1pm, Friday 30 March.