Ryan Griffiths has got himself ready for a baptism of fire in the pro ranks after turning over from the unlicensed circuit.
That voyage of discovery is heading towards the Town Hall in Dudley, when fight night arrives there on Friday March 17, hosted by BCB Promotions. Ijaz Ahmed takes on Marcel Braithwaite for the British Super Flyweight Title at the top of the bill.
A pro debut comes in his hometown, with Griffiths still a relatively unknown quantity as a boxer, having had no amateur experience.
The 22-year-old first took up kickboxing, as a teenager, and picked up a WKU Commonwealth title, before switching sports.
He embarked on an unlicensed run that resulted in 22 bouts, with just two losses, before being endorsed for a pro boxing career.
Griffiths had impressed in an unlicensed encounter with ex-pro Les Sharratt (formerly Byfield) and was encouraged to pursue further progress.
He has since joined up with BCB and enjoyed top-class advice, training and sparring, from the likes of hot prospects Macauley Owen and Liam Davies.
Griffiths, a shift manager at the Tesco Express store in Cookley, Kidderminster, can’t believe how far he’s come in just a few months.
He said: I’ve been training for my debut since August and I got the date in January, so my camp has been about 12 weeks. I’m excited to get in there now.
“It’s like a dream come true for me, to be making my debut in Dudley, where I’ve been born and bred. I live not far away from the Venue.
“I’ve had to make changes to how I fight, coming from an unlicensed background, and work hard on my fitness, which has included losing nearly 2st in weight.
“I can’t thank Macauley Owen (fellow pro) enough for helping me to do that. He’s been by my side, all of the way through, and has done so much for me.
“He has a degree (Masters) in sports nutrition and made a diet plan for me, which I’ve followed and seen the benefits. It’s turned out really well.
“He’s also been working with me on my strength and conditioning, so I’m feeling fitter than I ever have. It’s like everything has been taken to the next level.
“Add to that all of the coaching that I’ve had from BCB and it’s made a huge difference. Macauley was one of the first sparring sessions that I had and it was great.
“I’ve got to spar with Liam Davies (British and European super bantamweight champion) and that was amazing, too. I’m grateful and these people are at a level that I aspire to reach.
“I’ve boxed an ex-pro before, in a four-man unlicensed Prizefighter tournament. It was against Les (Sharratt, formerly Byfield). I lost on points, but it was close (split decision).
“I’d beaten a slick southpaw (Jay Ledbury) to reach the final and I gave a good account of myself against Les. His coach told me that I was too good for the unlicensed game.
“I sent an email to BCB, Paul (Mann, coach) got in touch with me and I came down to the gym for a session. It was definitely a step into the unknown.
“I haven’t figured out exactly what will work for me yet and I think that it’s going to take time for me to develop my own style. That’s all part of the learning process.”
Tickets for the Venue bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.