The Hawk Eyes Hat-trick
There will be ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’ from Troi Coleman when he next steps the ropes for his third professional contest on a festive fight night.
Coleman returns to the scene of one of his finest glories from his previous calling of kickboxing, at Walsall Football Club next Saturday December 22.
He’s a part of the Christmas dinner show in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, staged by BCB Promotions. The bill is called ‘Jingle Brawls.’
The 23-year-old, from Burntwood, has scored two victories since taking up the sport professionally and both have been at Walsall Town Hall.
‘The Hawk’ was flying in a debut victory against Lewis van Poetsch in September, where he rolled over his opponent by points whitewash.
Coleman was back under the lights a month later and overcame bloodshed to squeeze past Darryl Sharp, taking a points call by one round.
He’s vowed to get nasty when he undertakes his third four-rounder three days before Christmas, at a venue where he won a prize last time.
He lifted the WRSA British kickboxing title the last time he appeared at the home of the Saddlers and is looking to impress again in the ring.
Coleman said: “I’ve got good memories of the place. It was packed when I won a title there, I was top of the bill and I get a good following.
“I achieved a fair bit in kickboxing, but I was always more of a boxer. I’d throw the odd kick and follow through with loads of punches.
“I had that natural movement and range that was more suited to boxing. I’ve crossed over and had the two wins, but I can do better.
“My opponent didn’t want to engage all that much on my debut, so I stuck to my boxing and got through it in as best fashion as I could.
“The last one really brought the fight to me, we clashed heads at the end of the first round and I ended up with a cut by my left eye.
“I’ve split my lip before but, this time, blood was pouring into my eye. I took a lot from how I battled through it, but I wasn’t that happy.
“I didn’t show what we’d been working in the gym, as much as I would have liked, and there were times I switched off. It wasn’t the best.
“I think I was a bit too nice, over calm and I need to be more aggressive than that. I want to have more of a fire in my belly on December 22.
“I feel like I’m in a good place already and another victory would make it a nice Christmas for me, then I’ll be getting right back on it in 2019.”
Three reigning champions feature elsewhere on the card with Adam Harper, Lennox Clarke and Connor Parker all engaging in keep-busy affairs.
English super welterweight champion Harper aims to add to his ledger for the first time since claiming the crown, beating Billy Bird after the full 10.
The former Midlands boss and Commonwealth title challenger, from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, claimed national glory on September 21.
Halesowen’s Clarke still holds the IBO Continental super middleweight bauble. He’s boxed just once this year, though, and added to his KO ratio.
The heavy hitting 27-year-old recorded a first round wipe-out for a fifth time and remains unbeaten, heading into battle as a pro for the 19th time.
Midlands super lightweight champion Connor Parker, from Woodville in Derbyshire, saw off Kevin Hooper for the strap in a career highlight.
Parker has already laced on the gloves again, since then, and recorded a six-round points whitewash success over Jamie Quinn on October 20.
West Bromwich’s Tom Stokes will be resurfacing again after a year out and has previously challenged for area honours himself, at middleweight.
Stokes, 23, is shedding the pounds from his spell on the sidelines, but has indicated he may move down to super welter and join their title chase.
Chad Sugden, from Newark in Nottinghamshire, is set to move into double figures for experience next time out and will be targeting his ninth win.
His one defeat, to Alistair Warren, saw him go heavier. ‘2 Slick’ was at cruiserweight for his last outing and is likely to be a light heavy for this one.
Lightweight prospect Connor Lee Jones, out of Brierley Hill, appears for the third time as a pro with two wins under his belt, both over the distance.
The 22-year-old has downed Liam Richards and Kristian Laight by landslide and is clear to box again, after a licensing issue delayed his trilogy bout.
The Lions Boxing Club graduate has a fine amateur pedigree and won ABA All England honours. He represented England and Team GB as a junior.
Tickets are on sale now, priced at £35 standard and £65 ringside, the latter option to include a Christmas buffet. It will be £40 entry on the door.
For more information, call the Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414. The Grosvenor Casino Walsall will sponsor the show and host the weigh in and after-show party (over 18s).