Islington boxer seeks perfection as he prepares for second fight
- Credit: Kevin Lines/TGSPHOTO
George Kean intends to “perfect his overall quality of living” as he reflects on his first professional fight and eyes his second paid outing next month.
The 22-year-old welterweight, who formerly boxed as an amateur at Times ABC in York Way, Islington, beat Rick Boulter at the Copper Box Arena on September 21.
Now the Islington-born Arsenal fanatic is looking ahead to his second paid outing at the same venue on November 30, and he believes there is plenty of room for improvement.
“Perfection’ will be the word used every day, from my runs to my technical work, from my weightlifting to my diet, from my sleep to my reading,” he told the Gazette. “I’m keen to focus on perfecting my overall quality of living.
“By the time I’m 27, I’d like to have won the Southern Area title, the English title, the British title – I’d like to win as many as I can.
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“The two biggest things coming out of boxing would be to win the WBC world title and to top the bill at Emirates Stadium. Hell, I’d probably do that for free – don’t tell Frank that!”
Kean has been encouraged to enter the paid game for the last four years, but he finally made the move on June 1 following a training camp in Switzerland.
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“People have been telling me to turn pro since I was 18, due to my style, but I knew that it wasn’t the right time and my dad knew that it wasn’t the right time, so we held off and stuck at the amateur game,” he said.
“I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t have gone on the trips to Nigeria, and I wouldn’t have had the wins that I had against some good opponents.
“Last year, I was really close to doing it [turning pro], but I wasn’t ready mentally. I always said that when I wake up in the morning and a light switches on in my head that tells me ‘I’m ready to turn pro’, I’d do it.
“I could have tried for Rio 2016, and I’d have had a fair shot at that because I’d have had a whole four or five years to lead up to it – but I would have been around 26 by then,” he said.
“I thought to myself, ‘Do I want to turn pro at 26? Do I want to lose sight of the reason I started boxing, which was to become a world champion?’
“The answer was ‘no’, and I wanted to start a slow and steady progress towards my dream, rather than a big rush had I turned pro at a later stage.”
Kean now believes he is capable of rising to the very top, and he credits much of his success so far to his promoter Frank Warren.
“Frank is the best in the business,” he said. “He has a track a record that speaks for itself.
“Bringing through the likes of Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan, before he [Khan] left for the States, helped to build my confidence. I know that I’m in the right hands.
“If I were to sum up my best qualities, I’d say I have the style of Ricky Hatton, the hand speed of Amir Khan, and the work-rate of Joe Calzaghe.”
Kean recently attended the British Boxing Awards ceremony in Hammersmith, where he was impressed by the approach IBF and WBA super-middleweight champion Carl Froch.
“He didn’t stop signing autographs and taking pictures all night, being the superstar that he is,” said Kean.
“That’s what I want. It gives me the motivation to sit and look into the future. Getting these awards and saying a few words, that’s what dreams are made of.”
You can buy tickets for Kean’s next bout at the Copper Box Arena on November 30 by calling 07761 590026 or tweeting @1georgiekean