A HARWORTH teenager made his professional boxing debut in the most spectacular fashion last Friday in Sheffield.
Matthew Brierley, formerly of Langold ABC and Manton ABC, is fighting out of Steve Slaney’s Castle Gym in Conisbrough while being managed by former European champion Ryan Rhodes.
It was on Rhodes’ show, at iceSheffield last week, that Brierley joined the professional ranks, knocking out Tamai Harding in the second round.
A delighted Brierley said: “I’m chuffed with how it went, all the hard work paid off, three months of hard training.”
“The training has been really different to amateur boxing training, lots of strength training but I’ve really enjoyed it.”
The cruiserweight put his man down in round two with a left hook, after taking advice from Rhodes in his corner.
“In the first round I was sussing him out with my jab, and I got back to my corner and Ryan said he was reacting to everything I was doing, so he wanted me to feint.”
“I did that, he stepped back and I countered off it and caught him.”
Next up for Brierley is a likely bout in February, on another Rhodes’ promoted event, but the 19-year-old is not averse to a quicker return to the ring.
“If anything comes up and it’s a good fight for me I’ll take it, but it’s one step at a time and one fight at a time for me,” he said.
“I feel safe with Steve and Ryan, they thought I should turn professional and I trust them.”
Friday’s fight night also featured another Harworth fighter, Steve Slaney’s son Danny.
The light-heavyweight drew with James Tucker from Bessacarr and will fight him again on a future show.
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FIGHTING in Sheffield last Thursday, Manton Athletic ABC youngster Dylan Clegg won on points, having forced a standing eight count in the final round of his junior bout.
Declan Cairns was retired from his fight by the referee in round one, after an accidental clash of heads left him with a mouth injury.