Marco Simmonds will be learning on the job when he transitions to pro boxing after just two bouts of amateur experience.
He will debut on a BCB Promotions offering at the Willows, on Bath Street, in Willenhall, as part of a Sunday afternoon show on March 27.
The 21-year-old middleweight, from Dudley, has been largely inactive since his last amateur bout, at the age of 17, mostly due to the passing of his coach Mark Turton.
Simmonds represented Wolverhampton City School of Boxing, as an amateur, with one narrow points loss and a TKO victory to show for it.
He describes himself as hard-hitting and is more than willing to engage in a tear-up with his middleweight rivals, with Tony Marshall now operating as his trainer.
By day, Simmonds is a hard surfaces repair technician for Hometec and a father-of-two, the latter of which serves as an inspiration for his ambitions.
He said: “My job can be quite physical, which helps with the strength and conditioning side of my training, and I’ve had an intense eight-week camp to get me ready for my debut.
“I’ve been in the gym for months, fine-tuning a few things, and I got my fight date straight after I got my pro licence. I’d rather over-prepare than not be ready.
“It’s been gruelling and I’ve had to knuckle down, but I’m determined to go as far as I can in boxing. I’d love to achieve a Midlands title and get a chance at national level.
“I feel like I’ve got the attributes. I do like a scrap, I can punch and I’m durable myself, so I just need to work on the other parts of my game.
“I only ever had two amateur bouts. I lost the first one on a split decision (points) and stopped the lad in the second fight, which was the week after.
“In the one in, I dislocated my shoulder right as I put my opponent down! I carried on and, in the end, the referee jumped in when he was still on his feet.
“I’m focussed on the future now. I want to be a success for my two children (Marco Jnr, 2, and Skyla Rose, 1) more than myself. For them to be proud of me is enough motivation.
“Being a father has changed me and it’s the best thing in the world that could have happened. It made me mature quickly and realise what’s important in life.
“I haven’t boxed in nearly four years, because of the pandemic and how loyal I was to Mark (Turton). When he died, it took me a while to get over it.
“I know he’d have wanted me to carry on and turn pro, so I dedicate this fight to him. He was like family to me and I miss him. Tony (Marshall) is my coach now and he knew Mark.
“I just want to take everything in, when I make my debut, and enjoy it but, when the bell goes, I’ve got a job to do and that’s to get the win.”
Tickets for the Willows bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.