Josh Stokes: Made In The Black Country

West Bromwich’s Josh Stokes will be planning to come down the weights after he’s learned his craft as a professional boxer.

His progression continues when he looks to make it a hat-trick of paid victories at Walsall Town Hall on Friday, 7th July.

The 23-year-old features on BCB Promotions’ ‘Made in the Black Country’ show, sponsored by the Grosvenor Casino Walsall, on Bentley Mill Way.

Stokes has boxed at cruiserweight on both occasions and looked imposing through muscle but plans to campaign in the, at least, light heavy division as his experience grows.

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It was at 81kg that he had over 50 amateur bouts for Wodensborough Boxing Club, before turning over this year. He might even make super middle.

He has outpointed journeymen Mitch Mitchell and Curtis Gargano without conceding a round so far and now awaits his next test over four rounds.

He’s had just a week off training since the Gargano fight on May 12 to go on holiday to Las Vegas with his younger brother Tom, who is also an unbeaten pro pugilist.

One-to-one coaching at Johnson’s Wednesbury Boxing Academy along with sparring the likes of Jamie Cox, Ricky Summers and Lennox Clarke is helping him to progress further.

“I won’t be coming out of the gym much now,” he revealed.”I like to get fit and we’ve been working hard in there. I hope to be in even better shape for this one and start coming down, in time.

“I felt fitter against Gargano than I did against Mitchell so, hopefully, I can continue that for this one. I just want to keep busy this year, maybe get five wins under my belt and then step up.

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“Gargano was a tough lad, I hammered him for most of it but he caught me with a couple of silly shots, as well. Mitchell was hard, but he tucked up more and didn’t throw as much.

“I haven’t got a TKO yet, but that can be down to the people you are boxing. When someone comes to fight, rather than survive, that’s when a stoppage is more likely to come along.

“We’ve been trying out different punches since then, picking up the pace and we’ve looked at my defence, so we’ll see how it all pans out on the night.

“I’m not that worried, Tom didn’t get his first stoppage until his ninth fight and he’s won all of them. It comes when it comes.”

Bloxwich duo Luke Paddock and James Beech Jnr enjoy home advantage elsewhere on the card with Burton’s Leon Gower also featuring.

Stokes’ West Bromwich cohort Tommy Loach also appears in the home corner, as do Tividale’s Ryan Davies and Brummie Aaron Murphy.

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The Black Country’s only female pro boxer, Lauren Johnson, and Swalincote super lightweight, Connor Parker, switched from BCB’s Stoke show in July, complete the line-up.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £30 and £60 ringside with the latter including a light buffet, from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.

The Grosvenor Casino Walsall will host the weigh-in and after-show party (over 18s). A number of free cars from Walsall-based firm Yellow Taxis will go from the fight venue to the function.