Bloxwich’s Luke Paddock is “honoured” to be boxing for his first title just six fights into his professional career on a home-town show at Walsall Town Hall.
The unbeaten light welterweight, who has five straight wins, competes against Stoke’s Kevin Hanks for the International Bronze Masters crown on Saturday March 1.
The 22-year-old faces a visitor five years his senior who has four defeats in six on his paid ledger. That said, Hanks did beat Sid Razak the last time he boxed at the Town Hall.
Paddock said: “I am honoured to get any title shot so early in my career. I have only had five fights, so this has come as a nice surprise.
“This is the first rung of the ladder and to get a shot so early in my professional career is great. I never thought I would be fighting for a belt after five fights.
“For it to be taking place in Walsall, my town, is amazing really. I am not going to let the opportunity pass me by.”
Ironically, ‘Cool Hand’ and Hanks shared a dressing room during a bill at Walsall Town Hall back in September, with both victorious on the night.
Paddock said: “I always respect my opponents. Funnily enough, we shared a dressing room that night. Kev seems like a nice lad and I don’t think his record does him justice.
“He’s a tough, strong fighter who will come to win. With a title being at stake, he will be bang up for this one.
“I don’t know too much about him as a boxer, but I will be researching him and making sure I have the right game plan to get the win.”
Show sponsors Grosvenor Casino will be staging a fun casino on the night, with games like roulette and black jack. All proceeds will benefit the Carers Trust and Amphion Boxing Club.
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 ringside, are available from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. The after-show party is at the Pitch Sports Bar and Grill on Bridge Street in Walsall.