Alex Round freely admits he wouldn’t have made it as a boxer had it not been for two of Wolverhampton’s well-known former pros.
That journey next takes in BCB Promotions’ show in Wolverhampton, at the Hangar Events Venue (Pearson Street), when fight night arrives on Friday October 1.
His pro debut is the best part of 14 years on from when Round, as a child, was introduced to the sport through Steve Saville, who was the Midlands lightweight champion.
He looked up to family friend Saville and envied his pro career, which lit a torch in the young man that only boxing could fill, even after ‘the Wednesfield Bomber’ retired in 2010.
A stop-start amateur run, which saw Round only amass 11 contests, gathered pace when Richie Carter took him under his wing as a coach.
It’s all coming together now that Richie Carter’s Pro Boxing Stable has been formed at Wolverhampton Boxing Club, who Round last represented as an amateur.
Carter was a decorated amateur himself, winning a national title in the 1987 junior ABA competition, before turning pro on his 18th birthday.
He went on to rack up 10 victories from 12 bouts before abruptly hanging up his gloves in 1992, later returning to boxing as an amateur and pro trainer.
Round now looks to forge a path, as Carter operates in his corner, having had spells himself of falling out of love with the sport.
The 24-year-old middleweight is fully-focussed now, though, with high hopes of proving that hard work pays off through his new-found application.
He said: “Richie (Carter) has taught me everything that I know about boxing. You learn from the best and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve come a long way from where I started.
“I used to train in Steve Saville’s garden in Wednesfield, he’s mates with my dad (Mark Round). I was only about 10. I’d ride there, on my bike, and knock on his door.
“I used to look up to the pictures, in his house, of him with the Midlands title and think ‘one day.’ It would be a dream come true, for me to become an area champion.
“Phil Edwards was another friend of my dad’s, he was a coach at Wolverhampton Boxing Club, where I started sparring and had my first four amateur rights, starting when I was 13.
“I won the first three, then I lost for the first time, I got a bit disillusioned and had a year out from boxing. When I came back, Phil recommended Richie and we went from there.
“I boxed under him at Essington Golden Gloves, then we went to Wolverhampton (BC). I had five more years out, from 16 to 21, then I committed properly and I’ve never looked back.
“I’ve had seven fights, all told, under Richie and I’ve won all of them, so we must be doing something right. I’ve stopped two of my opponents, too.
“I would never go pro without Richie, I trust him completely and he’s happy with the progress I’m making, so let’s see how far we can take this.
“I’m 100 per cent serious now. I’ve lost 8kg, from when I was an amateur, and I’m fitter than I’ve ever been through the running, training and sparring that I’m doing.
“I’ve had a few rounds with Danny Ball (British title challenger) and some other good lads, so I’m seeing some good improvements in being able to hold my own.
“I never went into the championships, as an amateur, so I’m determined to get a title fight in the pros. Everything happens for a reason and there are so many things that I want to do.
“Just to be there for my debut is a big thing to me and I think that I’ll shock a few people with my performance, then I’ll work my way up.
“I’ll just do what comes naturally to me. I’m a come forward fighter, who likes to stand in front of my opponent and throw lots of punches. That’s a pro sort of style.”
The show is topped by Conah Walker versus Jamie Stewart for the Midlands Area Welterweight Title.
The undercard is stacked with local talent with Wolverhampton’s Kirstie Bavington, debutants Jermaine Osbourne-Edwards (Wolverhampton), Lewis Morris (Walsall) and Ollie Cooper (Cannock) are all in action alongside Dudley’s Ethan Collins
All boxers weigh-in at The Hangar on Thursday at 1:30pm. The event is free to the public to attend and we’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to what is fast approaching a SELL OUT Show!
VIP Tickets for the Hangar bill have all sold out and there will be no ticket sales on the evening. A handful of standard tickets priced at £40 plus booking fee are available from MyFightTickets.com.