By Daniel Mole: Lennox Clarke makes his professional boxing debut next week hoping it will be the start of a better, brighter future.
It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for the likeable Halesowen super middleweight. This time last year Clarke needed an outlet. Somewhere to channel his aggression. He found boxing.
Clarke made his way to Roy Skeldon’s Black Country Boxing Gym. He was an instant hit. He started competing in white collar fights, knocking opponents out on a regular basis. He enjoyed the buzz and began sparring with a few professional boxers, including Kevin McCauley. The Stourbridge welterweight was impressed with what he saw and advised Clarke, now 22, to turn pro.
“It’s strange to think that this time last year I’d never even laced a pair of gloves,” Clarke told www.uko-boxing.com. “I was getting into a bit of trouble and needed something to focus my mind. I was always fighting, so I thought I’d give boxing a go.
“I enjoyed it and when I started doing the white collar boxing, I was stopping opponents regularly. I started doing a bit of sparring with a few pro’s like Ricky Summers and then Kevin McCauley. I used to have some right tear-ups with ‘Kev’ and he said to me one day ‘Len, you should really think about going pro now’. I respect him so took his advice. I’m hoping it will be the best decision I’ve ever made and the start of a better life.”
After 7 white collar fights and 7 wins, all by way of knock-out, Clarke made his way to Errol Johnson’s Wednesbury Boxing Academy just two months ago. Instantly impressed by what he saw, Johnson added Clarke to his Double Trouble 2 bill, which takes place on Saturday, 16th November at Walsall Town Hall.
The 22 year-old debuts against veteran Congo-born fighter, Didier Blanch (1-10). Clarke is relishing the prospect of proving himself on the professional stage.
“I can’t wait to get in there,” he added. “I enjoyed the white collar stuff but I was getting people out of there early and after seven fights I knew it was time to switch to the pro game.
“People were paying good money to see me and I was only in the ring a few minutes! I’m thankful to Roy Skeldon for helping me on my way but I needed to move on.
“I want to test myself at this level. I’m enjoying working with Errol and I’ve put my trust in him. He’s told me I’m ready, so I’m just looking forward to getting started now.
“I’ve seen Blanch in action, He fought Jordan Clayton in Wolverhampton when I went to watch Ricky Summers there. He’s a slippery fighter who ducks and moves. It will be a decent first test; hopefully, the first of many as a professional boxer.”
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.
The top of the ‘Double Trouble 2’ bill sees Cradley’s Chris Male takes on Coventry’s Troy James in a British Super Featherweight Title Eliminator whilst Stourbridge’s former Midlands Area Welterweight Champion, Steven Pearce takes on Stafford’s Rob Hunt for a British Masters Welterweight strap.
Walsall’s Chris Keane takes on Jiri Svacina from Czech Republic as chief support to the two main contests.
West Bromwich welterweight prospect, Tom Stokes, takes on the evergreen Danny Donchev and ‘Tipton Slasher’ Lee Glover steps in with Igor Tsujev at super featherweight.
Stoke lightweight, Andy Keates, features against the vastly experienced Bheki Moyo whilst Halesowen super middleweight Lennox Clarke debuts against Congo-born Didier Blanch. Tipton flyweight, Ainsley Ratcliffe, completes the line-up against an as yet unnamed opponent.
Stafford’s Grant Cunningham, has withdrawn due to work commitments.
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. The aftershow party will take place at The Pitch Sports Bar and Grill, Bridge Street, Walsall.