Callum Beardow, 23, won numerous Yorkshire titles and the English cruiserweight title as an amateur boxer.
Having signed a professional contract with Yorkshire boxing guru Dave Coldwell he was scheduled to make his professional debut on December 8th, on Kell Brook’s Sheffield Arena show, before an injury temporarily sidelined him.
Shoulder and arm injuries have dogged the young fighter’s progress but he believes he is now back on track and will debut on February 15th at Sheffield’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. He believes he will achieve at least a British title in the pro-ranks and hopes to go even further.
“If it wasn’t for my shoulder surgery I’d probably have turned pro earlier. I had just over two and a half years without competing so I wasn’t getting experience. So I tried to stay in the amateurs as long as I could, while I was still learning,” Beardow told World Boxing News.
Beardow will turn over as a light-heavyweight but plans to campaign at super-middleweight further down the line.
He’s well under six feet tall, which will make him a compact fighter at either weight. He’s not worried though. And claims he has the technical tools, and stylistic flair, to deal with the height disadvantages he will face in the pro ranks.
That’s evidenced in his ability to out-jab much taller fighters. A skill often lauded as a reliable mark of quality in a boxer. “My jab’s really really good for my height,” pointed out Beardow.
“I like landing it whether it’s head or body, I’ve always had a good jab. Every person who’s ever complimented me says oh you’ve got a good jab.
“Even on the taller lads, I vary it up and catch them on the chest or on the body underneath the guard, I always find a way through with my jab. You can win bouts off just having a good jab.”
The boxer has trained his whole career at Sheffield City Amateur Boxing Club and will continue using the club as his base as he moves into the professional ranks.
“I’m proud to represent Sheffield,” he said. “Obviously we’ve had a lot of big names, like Kell Brook and Kid Galahad at the moment, all coming from Sheffield.
“I think hopefully I can be the next one that’s becoming a big name in four or five years’ time that everyone’s looking at saying that guy from Sheffield has put us on the map again.”
Despite the Steel City’s status as a centre of UK boxing Sheffield City ABC has produced only four pro boxers in the past and all went elsewhere to launch their professional careers.
Now head coach, Brendan Warburton, is turning to the pro game and will be in Callum’s corner for this exciting new chapter of his career.
“Brendan always said he’d stay amateur,” said Beardow. “He never turned over. I asked him and he made the decision to turn over with me, so hopefully we can do something together.”
Warburton clearly sees something in this young aspiring champion and Callum, in turn, hopes to start a new trend for the club. Beardow says more Sheffield City ABC boxers are showing potential to become professionals in the next year or two and that he is only the beginning of the club’s pro stable.
Coach, Warburton, said: “Callum has been with me since the age of 13. He has plenty of potential and plenty of support too. I’m looking forward to seeing how far he can go.”
“The fans will get to see a young man with a fan-friendly style ready to turn up the heat. Me and all the team are really looking forward to letting him loose!”
Having signed a management contract with Dave Coldwell, Beardow isn’t short of sparring contacts.
“I’ve been sparring a little bit with (Dominic Ingle trained) Willy Hutchinson over the past six months. He’s a nice lad and I rate him actually, he’s a good boxer.
“I’m supposed to be going sparring with Fowler but at the moment my arm’s not been too good.”
With a raft of big names out there in an increasingly exciting division, Beardow is confident he can capture a British title and hopes he’ll be good enough to challenge at world level.
His name will be among some of the biggest in Britain sooner rather than later, he says: “There’s some good names about, world and British level.
“Hopefully, I’m among those names in the next three or four years. Stay tuned.”
George Storr is a contributor to World Boxing News. Follow George on Twitter @George_Storr1