FORMER AMATEUR SENSATION George Bance has signed a promotional contract with Frank Warren's Queensberry.
The 18-year-old, who took up boxing at the age of six, built up a stellar CV during his time in the amateur code, amassing a record of 95-6 - over a third of his wins coming via stoppage - and a reputation for being explosive.
Hailing from Atherstone in North Warwickshire, Bance has represented England on many occasions and gathered significant international experience. He is a British ABA champion, multi-time National champion, Box Cup gold medallist and won the silver medal at two European championships.
Bance is trained by Richard Yeomans and his father Danny in Nuneaton at Lightweight.
"I am absolutely buzzing to have signed up with Frank and I just can't wait to get in the ring and fight now," said the pro newcomer. "I found out about it a month or two after my eighteenth birthday in August and now I want to show everyone what I am about.
"Fighting is in the family and I have just done it from a young age. I was doing it even earlier but not in the gym until I was six.
"I went to the Europeans three times - in Croatia, Russia and Bulgaria - and have travelled to lots of other nations and done everything really," added the thick-set puncher with a liking for a speedy stoppage.
"Probably about 30-40, which sounds a lot, but it is quite easy to get stoppages in the amateurs.
"We're hoping to fight as soon as possible now and I am ready for whenever. I am quite well known around where I live and I have a really big following already, so I hope it will get bigger and bigger now."
Style-wise, Bance reports that all-out attack is his favoured tactic.
"Unorthodox and very much on the front foot - just attacking! I like getting in there, getting the job done, having a good tear-up and hopefully getting the stoppage or a knockout.
"I've taken shots as well like everyone does as part of the game and I would say I've got a mint chin, to be fair.
"I got a bit fed up in the amateurs and wanted to get in the pro game because I think it is more my style. I didn't think about taking it further because I wanted to turn pro as soon as possible.
"You will always learn on the job so I will take everything as it comes and do my best to smash it."
Promoter Frank Warren commented on his newest recruit: "George is an exciting addition to our ranks.
"George brings with him a big reputation and he is the sort of fighter the fans love to get behind because he will be entertaining and fun to watch.
"I am looking forward to getting him going and getting him the experience he needs to make a big impact in the professional game."
Birmingham Heavyweight debutant Solomon Dacres is promising an explosive performance when he takes on Mladen Manev over six rounds at the AO Arena, Manchester this Saturday May 15, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.
The 6ft 5ins 27-year-old, who is managed by Adam Morallee and Sam Jones of S-JAM Boxing, has been a regular sparring partner of Unified Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua, and shared sparring with Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois ahead of their November clash.
In an impressive stint in the amateurs, Dacres won gold in the 2017 National Championships, before joining the Team GB squad in April 2017 and representing the British Lionhearts in the World Series of Boxing during a successful spell in Sheffield.
Trained by Max McCracken alongside former WBA Super-Flyweight World Champion Kal Yafai and European Super-Bantamweight Champion Gamal Yafai - who puts his Title on the line against Jason Cunningham on the same bill - ‘The Real Deal’ plans on using his brute power and strength to make a mark in the thriving domestic Heavyweight scene.
"I’m looking forward to some solid performances and hopefully some big knockouts," said Dacres. “I’m in the fight game to have good fights at the end of the day. The main thing for me is progression. I need to make sure that I’m learning and improving with each fight. I want to look good as well.
"I’m not delusional, I know there’s a lot of hard work to go, but when you’ve got that grounding and experience from the amateurs – it gives you a great platform to push forwards from. I know there’s a lot of hard work to be done and lots to learn but I’m confident I can go all of the way.
“You’ve got to stay grounded. When you’re sparring guys like Joshua who’s a unified World Champion, Joyce and Dubois, they’re having big high-profile fights. You’re sparring with them and you haven’t even had your pro debut. You’re rubbing shoulders with guys that are at that top level and you’re thinking, ‘that’s where I want to get to’. I want to do the best that I can. Seeing that firsthand gives you that hunger to get there.
"I want to make a statement when I turn over and put on a good performance. I’m not messing around in the Heavyweight division. You want to put the guys out and move onto the next one. That’s how it’s going to be really. You’ve got to put your head down and work very hard. When you get to the top of the Heavyweight division, you’re there for a reason. The rewards are huge, but you’ve got to put the work in.
“I’m coming to make my mark on the Heavyweight division. I’m an educated boxer. Being from the Team GB squad, I can box. I can move a bit on the backfoot, but I like going on the front foot. I will look to go forwards, be explosive and let my hands go. I’m looking for an explosive fight and an explosive finish."
JAMES HENEGHAN BELIEVES he thrived in the brightly lit environment of making his first appearance under the Frank Warren banner a couple of weeks back.
The Mersey middleweight - although he states an intention to make it down to super welter - took himself to 5-0 in the pro ranks with a decision victory over Dwain Grant at York Hall.
However, he acknowledges that his hands-low, snappy punching style will be far more ideally suited to taking on an ambitious opponent, rather than one focused on survival and employing a high, tight guard.
That, Heneghan suspects, is when the stoppages will be added to his armoury.
"I enjoyed it," reflected the 22-year-old. "I would have liked an opponent who was more into coming forward and wanted a bit more of a fight with me, but that will come in the next few fights.
"It was different from what I've been used to, it was a lot more high production and there was all the media, weigh-ins and stuff. I am just looking forward to doing it again.
"I think you have got to take it all in your stride because it is all part of it, so enjoying it is the main thing. Some fighters let it faze them a bit but you have got to go out there and take it all in."
The stylish southpaw from the Wirral quite literally shoots from the hip when trading leather, a tactic less pleasing on the eye when an opponent is reluctant to return fire.
"It is definitely not," concurred the John Gillies-trained puncher who was having his first pro fight outside of Liverpool. "My style looks the most effective when people are throwing at me and I'm making them miss. When they stop throwing at me it becomes less effective and I've got to go looking for it a bit more, which I can do, but prefer not to.
"We weren't expecting it from him because he has taken rounds off good fighters and has even beaten an unbeaten one. We heard in the build-up he was coming to win so we were expecting a bit more from him, but people expect me not to hit hard because of my style and when I hit them I can see it in their faces that they are hurt and then they cover up.
"Maybe that is a factor," added Heneghan, who now wants to get cracking onto more meaningful assignments with potentially titles on the table.
"Yeah definitely, I have said from the beginning that I am not in it just to build up a record that looks good. It will be hard, tough fights that bring the best out of me and you will see how effective my style is against people who come to win.
"I think being in competitive fights is the only way to show people how good I am. What I would like is to fight people of a similar age with a similar record and I have said that from the start. I want someone who will come to fight, another good prospect."
Meanwhile, Heneghan went on to explain why the stage name of 'The Wizard' has been added to his ring moniker.
"When I first joined up with Warren Boxing Management they started calling me the 'Whizz Kid' but that one didn't stick. I've changed it to 'The Wizard' now and hopefully it is because I am doing good things in the ring, so we will see how we go."