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Islington fighter happy to bide his time after cancelling York Hall comeback

11:48 10 July 2014

George Kean (blue) shorts loses to William Warburton

George Kean (blue) shorts loses to William Warburton

Philip Sharkey/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Islington’s Georgie Kean says he is taking a long-term approach after pulling out of his comeback fight at York Hall next week.

Kean had been due to box for the first time next Wednesday since he unexpectedly lost his unbeaten professional record on points to journeyman William Warburton in April.

But the former Times ABC amateur has reined in his natural desire to get back in the ring and will instead focus on sharpening his skills in the gym under the guidance of Adam Booth.

Booth took over from Jim McDonnell as Kean’s trainer shortly before the defeat to Warburton and the 23-year-old is convinced that the change will have a lasting benefit on his career.

“Throughout boxing there are only a couple of people I’ve ever spoken to who take my breath away,” Kean told the Gazette. “One was my first amateur trainer, Colin Wilson, and Adam is the other.

“Adam’s very technical – he’ll explain every situation, how to get into it and how to get out of it. He’s not trying to change me as a fighter – I’m never going to be a flashy Naseem Hamed kind of boxer.

“It’s about making me more effective and my body needs to get used to the demands that are being made. I’ve found parts of my body that were aching have stopped aching and that shows I’m adapting.

“As a fighter, I would have got back in the ring the next week [after the defeat], but Adam told me it was best for me to be in the gym. I don’t want to take the quick option when the most important thing is getting it right.

“Maybe with hindsight I shouldn’t have taken that last fight without being with my coach for a longer time. Otherwise I don’t regret anything – I’m working hard, getting the fundamentals in place, and I feel a lot better for it.”

Kean made his professional debut last autumn, overcoming Rick Boulter in a four-round fight at the Copper Box Arena and went on to negotiate further tests against Danny Donchev and Dee Mitchell at the same venue.

He was edged out 39-38 by Warburton in only his fourth bout, but Kean knows he must learn to put that blemish on his record behind him before he returns to action, probably in the autumn.

“I’m not going to lie – losing is the worst feeling for me,” Kean admitted. “Having that loss on my record is something that I absolutely hate and I’d do anything to erase it.

“But I’ve got to embrace that loss and make sure there are no more slip-ups, hence it’s better to pull out of this fight and I feel I’ll be at my best in September.

“In boxing there’s always the pressure to keep that unbeaten record, but I say records are for DJs. There are pros who have retired at 15 and 0 but never won a title.

“I’m staying positive. I’d rather have that loss on my record but finish up with silverware at the end of my career.”

The Islington man plans to speak to his promoter, Frank Warren, in an effort to ensure that his eventual return to the ring comprises a contest of six rounds rather than four.

“Adam and I have agreed that we want a six-rounder,” Kean added. “Jim McDonnell always said – and Adam’s a believer in this as well – that four rounds are no good.

“It can make you rush and if there’s a 10-8 round it’s very hard to get that back. Doing those extra two rounds, you can pick your punches and relax a bit more.”

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