FORMER Grantham ABC fighter Ben “Golden Boy” Croft is set to make his semi-pro debut with a fight for a version of the British title.
Ben will fight for the British Boxing Union super-middleweight title in Dudley on July 28.
The 23-year-old has just returned to the sport and is training at the new Browny’s Boxing Gym in Willow Lane. The gym is a licensed semi-professional gym which does not teach amateur boxers.
Ben hopes the semi-pro ranks will lead to a pro career.
He said: “I want to go professional and this could be a big springboard for my future.
“I want to be up there with Amir Khan and people like that.”
The Grantham boxer has enjoyed an extensive amateur career and continued in the sport whilst serving his country in the army.
Ben, a former pupil at St Wulfram’s and Central School, said: “I went into army boxing for about four years and that was a very, very tough game.
“That has given me the experience to go straight into a semi-pro title fight.”
Ben’s coach Russ Brown believes his fighter has the skills to win the fight and go far in the sport.
Russ said: “He’s got great natural ability. The way he moves – you’ve either got it or you haven’t and he’s got it.
“He will win this fight. As long as he listens to me, he will win this fight.
“We are looking to take Ben to the top.”
Russ said he hopes to showcase fighters like Ben to Grantham fight fans in the near future, with plans to put on boxing cards in the town.
Russ said: “We are looking to put a show on in early November. We’ve got some novice fighters that we are training up to hopefully get on the show if they are ready.
“We would really like to do it locally.”
Anyone interested in tickets for the Dudley show should visit Browny’s Gym in Willow Road, Grantham or call 07503253701.
l Ben expressed his thanks to Baileys Hairdressers in St Catherine’s Road for all their help and sponsorship.