Kevin Mitchell from Dagenham left 29 of his 39 pro victims counting birdies en route to British and Commonwealth super-feather titles.
And the explosive hooking two-time world title challenger hopes that Alfie Winter will be a chiller among the paid brigade.
Winter enters the the pro-ranks tomorrow night (Saturday 12th February) at the Brentwood Centre in Essex when he takes on experienced veteran Kevin McCauley over four rounds, streamed live on iFL.
‘I’m putting bad intentions into my punches. Kev’s got me to settle down, go through the gears and put spite into my shots as opposed to just flicking to score a point. Kev’s been there and done it. He talks from first-hand experience at the very highest level rather than from watching the tele.” Said the 24 year old who works with Mitchell at the Matchroom Gym in Romford.
‘I’ve also picked up spitefulness from sparring Conor Benn a good few times plus slickness and technical smarts from working with Joe Cordina. I’m developing into the full package.
‘Growing up, I was obsessed with Floyd Mayweather. He did everything needed to win. The win was everything. I hope to showcase the real art of boxing. My best attribute is my brain. Too many fighters don’t think too much then end up ugly. I box slick, make ‘em miss, make ‘em pay.’
While the majority of the domestic boxing elite hail from Britain’s inner cities, the Winter’s tale began in the leafy glades of Surrey. Born in Kingston, he now resides with his father in Moseley.
‘I was brought up in a quiet neighbourhood, full of old people,’ disclosed affable Alfie, the youngest of three.
‘As a kid, I lacked confidence and kept myself to myself but I always liked fighting. I think boys are naturally drawn to it. But when Dad watched boxing on the tele, I thought it was a bit boring. They always seemed to be holding, rather than punching.
‘By 16, I realised I wasn’t going to get much further with my football so I went to the Battlebridge boxing gym. From football, I thought I was really fit until I began the boxing!
Fast of fist and foot, Alfie swiftly evolved into one of the brightest amateur talents in the region.
‘I won 30 of my 40 bouts,’ says Winter who also represented the Earlsfield and Guildford City clubs. ‘Highlights included winning the Haringey Cup for under 20 bouts and losing a split decision in the National Novices final. I won a Southern Counties Challenge Belt which I successfully defended three times. I also represented the Southern Counties against Ireland and the Army.’
In 2018, he advanced to the London Elite ABA light-welter final but, conceding huge experience and natural size to Elliot Whale, a 6ft 1in southpaw from Sidcup, Winter was comprehensively outpointed.
‘I didn’t have the best of luck in the ABAs,’ he recalls.
‘The following year I broke my nose in the first round of a Southern Counties bout and Covid disrupted my plans the next two years. But boxing professional was always my goal. The amateurs just paved the way.’
Handsome and wholesome, the Richard Maynard managed talent embarks on his latest journey with steely single-mindedness.
‘Away from boxing, I have my little girl (two year old Myla) every weekend and take her to feed the ducks, stuff like that. I’ve got a gym at my house with a ring which she loves running around,’ says fresh-faced, softly spoken Winter, a closet Gooner.
‘My progression will be decided by Kevin and Richard but, initially, I’d like at least five fights a year. Long term, I aim to get to the top of the sport, world champion. Boxing’s not an easy sport and there’s no point doing it if you don’t aim to be the very best.’
‘I should shift a good few tickets and I intend to show fans what I’ve been working on with Kev, how I’ve changed,’ he concludes.
‘I’m definitely developing that explosiveness. Hopefully, I can put my opponent away and make a big statement.’