Dylan Norman is hoping to show more than being a “reckless ginger kid” when he makes his pro debut on Saturday evening.
The Brummie super lightweight now lives in Knowle, where a more settled family life has got him on the straight and narrow.
He features on BCB Promotions’ show at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday September 28. The bill is titled ‘Britain Awaits.’
Norman had an on-off amateur career, where he competed nine times with seven wins to show for his troubles.
He competed under the banner of the Solihull and West Warks boxing clubs, last representing Frankie Gavin’s Ringside Gym earlier this year.
He’ll now be coached by Malcolm Melvin, who has substantial pro experience having twice challenged for the British title.
His guidance has rubbed off on Norman, who can see the difference in his approach now he can take the sport seriously.
The 19-year-old has plenty of time to feel his way into the pro game, but believes he possesses a style that will excite fight fans.
He said: “I’ve trained hard for this and everything has slowly been starting to pay off. I’m really looking forward to this.
“I only had nine amateur fights but I boxed here, there and everywhere. I’ve sparred top quality lads and that was a good experience.
“I started boxing when I was about 11, but I wasn’t always allowed to. I had a rough upbringing, so the authorities didn’t want me fighting.
“I’m living with my grandmother now, she became my legal guardian some years ago so my home life has become a lot more settled.
“I was a little fat lad, at one point, but I’ve shed the weight and fell in love with training. I’ve boxed since and had my last amateur fight in March.
“People who have watched me know I’m a reckless ginger kid in the ring and they seem to like that about me. I’m like a bull, I constantly come forward.
“I have to give my coach credit, we’ve worked on a few things where I can continue to do that, but he’s taught me how to roll and be more defensive.
“I don’t need to charge in and block punches with my head, I’ve got my guard and gloves for that. I’ve got heart, dedication and pride, I’m just looking forward to putting on a good show.”
Two men knocking on the door of British title contention are both in action elsewhere on the Town Hall offering.
Lennox Clarke, from Halesowen, has been put forward to contest the vacant British middleweight crown with Commonwealth champion Lerrone Richards.
Clarke sees his first action of 2019, having previously held the IBO Continental bauble and was previously mandated to challenge for the English strap.
‘Dangerous’ steps into a pro ring for the 20th time, with 19 victories and no defeats. He’s demonstrated power with seven TKOs, five of those inside a round.
Andrew Robinson, a Redditch-based Brummie, has been selected to oppose British middleweight boss Liam Williams.
The 34-year-old veteran is determined to add to Midlands and IBO Continental belts after getting to 28 pro bouts, with 23 wins.
His finest hour so far came last time out, in April, when ‘D’Animal’ went over to Poland and handed Damian Jonak his first defeat, with his opponent unbeaten after 42 pro contests.
Liam Davies, of Donnington in Telford, resumes his efforts in the super bantamweight division still inside his first year since turning over.
The second generation fighter has shown power over his four wins and already has his maiden TKO, with two other opponents also visiting the floor but seeing the final bell.
The son of former Midlands champion Tristan Davies previously racked up 100 amateur contests, for his father’s Donnington Boxing Club, and boxed for England.
Dudley’s Ruben Campbell is preparing to lace on the gloves again, after outpointing Matt ‘MJ’ Hall on his pro introduction in May.
Another second-generation boxer, Campbell is planning to campaign as a super lightweight, the same ranks where his dad Ray ‘Raza’ Campbell featured in the early 1990s.
Rachel Ball, from nearby Aldridge, returns six months on from her own trip overseas to extend former European featherweight champion Katharina Thanderz to the distance.
That loss came in Norway came after four points successes, with Ball looking to bounce back after getting an eight-rounder under her belt.
Two more debutants complete the presence in the home corner, with Owen Cooper and Kashif Khan others to make their pro bow.
Cooper joins the welterweight ranks after a stellar amateur career, where he became an England Youth national champion.
The teenage prospect, who will be 19 on fight night, represented England on four occasions, recording three wins for his country.
His amateur ledger finished on 41 outings, with 32 wins, including 17 successes over fellow national champions. He represented his hometown outfit, Worcester City Boxing Club.
Fellow super lightweight Khan is Walsall born and bred, from nearby Pleck, and is back in action after four years out.
A decent amateur career saw him amass 50 unpaid contests, recording 35 wins, for Wednesbury and Walsall Wood Boxing Club.
He also lifted a Central England belt, defeating Atal Khan by a unanimous points decision in what has proved to be his last glory to date.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It’s £40 for entry on the door.