A RHYL fighter is aiming for a chance at the professional ranks ahead of a title shot later this month.
Mark Sweetman will move up two weight classes to take on Ryan Macmillan for the British Boxing Union’s light-heavyweight championship at the Crunch Time show, which will take place on Saturday, March 25 at Robin Hood Camp in Rhyl.
The 31-year-old has big plans for the future after turning to boxing following the death of his father Malcolm, and tuned up for the contest with a comfortable triumph over Isaac Gibbs.
Speaking to Martin Williams, Sweetman said: “When my old man died I needed to do something to control my energy because I became hot-headed, I felt so low.
“I’d never boxed before, even though I have uncles who did it professionally, but took to it straight away.
“I joined Craig Winter’s gym in Denbigh, and then came over to train with Azi at Paradox and have never looked back.”
The former Rhyl High School pupil has been training with Mixed Martial Arts sensation Azi Thomas in Colwyn Bay, and there is plenty of interest throughout the region in the fight following a bitter war-of-words on social media.
Macmillan sent shockwaves through the division with an impressive win over ex-champion Robbie Gaine, and he himself has set his sights on the British title if he comes through the test against Sweetman.
“It will be tough, he can punch – no doubt about that – but I’ve far more ring-craft and better movement,” added Sweetman, who is confident of making an impact in the pro game despite his age.
“I’m not bothered about stepping up in weight. They wanted this match and I’m happy to take it, but there was never any danger of him ever dropping the pounds to come down and fight me.
“The tickets sell themselves as it’s something of a grudge match I guess. There is a little needle between ourselves, and between this gym and their gym (The Immortals, Rhos-on-Sea) but I have respect for him, he’s a good fighter.
“I have looked at becoming a professional, it’s something I’ve thought long and hard about. I’m getting old now so I want to put everything I’ve got into it before I hang my gloves up in a few years.”