Mertys Rowen could well be regarded as a surprise package when he arrives in pro boxing as a relatively-unknown quantity.
His belated debut arrives when BCB Promotions stage their show at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, with fight night set for Friday September 2.
The 31-year-old, who lives in Exeter, will turn over at super lightweight, initially, but can see himself dropping lower should title opportunities present themselves.
Rowen is London-born but has since moved to Crewe, Bristol and now Devon, getting involved in the boxing scene wherever he has landed.
He’s represented amateur clubs in West Ham, Newham, Crewe and Lympstone, but could only muster an unpaid record of two wins from 14 bouts.
Rowen regards that run as somewhat of a facade, though, and points to the experience he’s had from top-level sparring and guidance.
He regards former British super lightweight champion Darren Hamilton as a mentor, with Gareth Hogg currently operating as his coach, out of the Elite Community Gym in Torquay.
Rowen said: “I signed my pro contract back at the end of 2019, but then the pandemic hit and it’s just been one thing after another, since then.
“I got married (to wife Caitlin) in December 2020, I’d met her when I was living in Bristol a couple of years before that and our daughter, Kali, was born in May 2021.
“There have been times when I wondered whether my pro debut was ever going to happen, but I’ve resisted any urge to move on and, now, I’m finally here.
“I was born in London and I lived there until I was an adult. I started boxing when I was 19, just to keep me out of trouble. I was drinking and a few things had happened.
“I got sober when I was 20 and I’ve stayed away from alcohol since. I don’t want to sound too cliched, but boxing did take over my life. Drinking was a big problem for me.
“My amateur record may look pretty terrible (12-2), but most of those fights were in tournaments. I think only my first four were on club shows.
“I’ve been around the pro gyms for a few years and sparred with British, European and world champions, even Olympians. I’ve held my own against them, so I’m confident.
“What is on paper isn’t a reality, to me, because I’ve got faith in what I’m doing. Time will tell, but I’m determined to prove anyone who doubts me wrong.
“I’ve always had a pro style, with a little bit of everything, which didn’t really suit the amateurs, but I never got hurt. I’m a good technician, who isn’t all that readable.”
Tickets for ‘Rumble on the Riviera’ are available now, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.