Islington fighter Kean savours victory on professional debut
- Credit: Kevin Lines/TGSPHOTO
Islington welterweight prospect George ‘Gorgeous’ Kean admits he cannot wait to box again after his victorious professional debut at a packed Copper Box Arena on Saturday.
Kean was roared on by around 700 supporters as he made his way to the arena at the former Olympic venue, where he demolished Rick Boulter in a comprehensive four-round points success.
The former Times ABC amateur lapped up the electric atmosphere and he is looking forward to repeating the experience, although he is careful not to get carried away by it.
“The ringwalk was a memory I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Kean told the Gazette. “It seemed like the whole arena was shouting for me, it was more like a football match, and I can’t wait to do it again.
“A lot of amateurs start their pro careers early on the show, in a small arena without anyone there, but they threw me on right after Dereck Chisora’s fight, when the place was packed to full capacity.
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“I had 700 fans screaming and everyone else’s fans were screaming as well and, when you’re in front of the TV cameras, it’s very different to doing it in the gym. You just cannot buy that experience.
“There was a real community feeling – it was like the whole of Islington was there. My dad came into the changing-room before the fight and said it felt just like walking down Upper Street in the bar area.
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“I kept shadow boxing –I was full of excitement and I really wanted to be out there. I was smiling at [trainer] Jim McDonnell in between rounds, saying ‘this is the best’.
“I’m getting great support but it’s very important for me not to believe the hype at this stage of my career or I could easily trip up. I’ll be back in the gym this week to practise a few things I did wrong.”
Kean proved far too skilful for his opponent, forcing him onto the back foot immediately and landing a number of left and right hooks, mostly to the head.
The Islington man dominated throughout and a right hook in the fourth round sent Boulter sprawling to the canvas, but he managed to beat the count.
Kean then trapped his opponent on the ropes, but was unable to finish him off and it was left to referee Phil Edwards to award the victory to the 22-year-old debutant by 40 points to 35.
Now Kean, who finished the contest with a nick above his left eye, is aiming to return to the ring at the end of November, potentially for a six-round fight.
“I’ve got four valuable rounds of experience under my belt in front of the best crowd of the night,” he added. “I’d like six rounds next, but Jim will call the shots and he’ll tell me if it’s a six-rounder or not.
“I want to thank my supporters and especially people like Dave Ryan and Dujon Semper-Hughes, who helped me so much with selling tickets – it was a great night.
“The only downside was that John [Ryder] couldn’t get the win – I’m gutted for him. It would have been nice for him to bring the belt back to Islington, but I’m sure he’ll be back.”