The latest edition of BoxRec News’ Debutant Watch series heads to Yorkshire to feature Matthew Brierley. The 19 year-old cruiserweight from Doncaster will take part in his first pro fight this Friday night in Sheffield.
Matthew is trained by Steve Slaney and managed by Glyn Rhodes and between the three of them they feel the time is fight for Matthew to make the transition into the pro game.
He will be fighting on Pioneer Promotions' maiden fight card at Ice Sheffield where the new promotional outfit, headed up by Glyn Rhodes have an exclusive deal to put on six fight cards this season.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I just joined a gym with one of my friends when I was thirteen just to keep fit really, I didn’t think I would actually start fighting. Once I got fit one of the coaches asked me if I wanted to take my medical, so I just decided to go for it and before I knew it I had fallen in love with the sport.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“I have always been into boxing and Muhammad Ali was my favourite fighter, I have seen most of his fights on DVD. Out of the more recent boxers my favourite has to be Joe Calzaghe. He was an awesome fighter who was always in great shape and he could really box.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I had about 17 amateur fights. I started off with the Langold ABC in Worksop where I got into the English ABA finals. From there I moved over to Brendan Ingle's gym for a while. I ended up boxing for Steve Slaney and fighting out of his gym in Coinsborough.”
How do you know the time is right to turn pro?
“I feel it’s the right time for me, I feel really safe working with Steve and Glyn. I have never felt so confident in my boxing before so I know it’s a good time to turn pro. Its my time now.”
Do you see a difference in the pro and amateur codes?
“Yeah, I see a big difference, in the amateur sport I feel like things are too rushed. In the pro sport you can pick your shots and you really have to make them count."
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I work full time for the local council, cutting grass and doing other jobs. Hopefully I won't be there too much longer if my boxing takes off. People from work are really supportive and they are coming to watch my debut. I usually run in the morning then hit the gym in the evening for my training and sparring.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I have always been a boxer, but I don’t mind a scrap every now and then! I generally like to box behind my jab but sometimes you just have to get involved and I don’t mind that.”
What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?
“I just want to take it one fight at a time, after five or six fights hopefully I would be in contention for an Area title fight or maybe a Masters belt. I just want to win my debut and keep on winning after that.”