When you think of amateur boxing, a certain club called Repton ABC often springs to mind. Perhaps because of the names like these: World champion John H Stracey, Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison, World champion Darren Barker, and more recently Frank Buglioni, Tom Baker, Ohara Davies and now the latest prospect, Sam McNess.
After a stellar amateur career, 23-year-old welterweight, Sam McNess makes his pro bow on Friday 12th June at London's York Hall.
BBN caught up with the young talent in the East End of London.
What made you want to start boxing?
“My dad was a professional so I've been around boxing all my life. Also, I was a big fan of Prince Naseem Hamed and wanted to do what he did.”
Who was your boxing hero growing up and why?
“Prince Naseem Hamed was my first boxing hero until my dad showed me Sugar Ray Leonard.”
How old were you when you had your first fight and how did you do?
“I was 11-years-old when I had my first amateur fight at York Hall in Bethnal Green on a Repton boxing home show. I won on points. Duke McKenzie was there and he wrote my name on the back of a piece of card and said he'd remember me.”
How well did you do in the amateurs?
“I won numerous national titles and won international medals. Represented Team GB for four years and represented England over 20 times.”
What made you decide to turn pro?
“I have always wanted to be a professional boxer my whole life because my dad was a professional and I felt I had gained enough experience as an amateur and that 23 was the right age.”
What team do you have around you?
“I have a great trainer in Mark Tibbs that has boxed professionally himself. I also have his father Jimmy Tibbs helping out in the corner. Together they both have so much experience and will guide me on the right path. I also have Frank Warren managing me. Frank has managed and promoted some of the best fighters from Britain over the last 20-30 years.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I'm a box-fighter. I can box when I need to and fight when I need to. I'm a good combination puncher with quite a good defence.”
What ambitions do you have for your pro career?
“Short term ambition: British champion. Long term ambition: World champion.”
When is your first fight and who will be there in support?
“My first professional fight is on Friday 12th
June at York Hall, Bethnal Green. I will have a lot of family and friends supporting. Also I'll have my sponsor, former world flyweight champion, Charlie Magri there, owner of Magri Sports.”
Any message for the fans?
“Thank you all for supporting, buying tickets and sending me good luck messages. I appreciate it so much and it really does help.”
For tickets to the debut fight please call: 07551 080 204 or visit www.sammcness.com
Watch Sam McNess in the amateurs here...