Kay Jimenez will be fighting with his heart on his sleeve when he devotes his next outing to the memory of a late friend.
An emotional evening lies in wait at the Eastside Rooms, on Woodcock Street in Birmingham, when BCB Promotions are back there, on the Saturday night of February 25.
Nour Mohamad Dieri, a long-standing friend from his time growing up in Syria, sadly passed away, from heart problems, earlier this month.
Jiminez has a Syrian father and Spanish mother, but is now living in England for a second time, having previously been London-based.
He now calls Birmingham home, having linked up with father-and-son team Spencer McCracken Snr and Jnr, as manager and coach respectively, to begin his pro career.
The 31-year-old super welterweight was a four national champion in Syria, as an amateur, and racked up 55 bouts, with 47 victories contained among them.
Jimenez turned over in December, at the Eastside Rooms, and outpointed Paul Cummings to record a landslide success, through a 40-36 scoreline.
He has since headed back overseas, for a family visit, but kept himself in shape, with another ring date set for just over two months later. Tragedy would then be afoot.
Jimenez said: “I dedicate this fight to my close friend (Nour Mohamad Dieri). We have been friends for over 15 years and I was shattered by the news.
“I was in the gym and, when I’d finished, I had many missed calls to tell me what had happened. He was only 31 and so fit and well, so it was a big shock.
“Apart from that, my preparations have been perfect again and I’ve been training like I’m going for a title. The morning after my last fight, I was straight back on the run, for 10 miles.
“I went to Marbella (southern Spain) to see my mother and girlfriend, after Christmas, but I went back to my old amateur gym (The Bull Boxing Club), to keep myself ticking over.
“When I’m back here, Jarrett (Doherty, fellow pro) is my main sparring partner and has a level of fitness that’s comparable to mine. He’s the man who can give me a lot of rounds.
“He’s a bit bigger than me, but very capable and he can hit and move. I’m making sure that I don’t cut corners and that I go above and beyond.
“I’m pushing myself to the limits and enjoying the process. The discipline that I have for boxing is something that will stand me in good stead.
“I’m loving what I’m doing and I’m happy with my progress. It was an interesting debut, for me, and I threw lots of punches. I had a lot of respect for my opponent (Paul Cummings).
“It was a great experience and I got hit a few times myself, too. It’s good to be fit, but it’s better to use your brain and that’s what I’ve been working on since.
“I’ve never hit the canvas in my life and I don’t plan on starting anytime soon. I’ve got a lot of heart and you will continue to see that, in my future performances.”
Tickets for the Eastside Rooms bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.