St Pancras ABC fighter feels time was right to turn professional
- Credit: Archant
Kentish Town welterweight Kian Thomas admits his enthusiasm for boxing had waned of late – but believes his switch to the professional ranks will revive it.
Thomas, who won a national novices title in the vest of St Pancras ABC just over a year ago, was disheartened when his dream of boxing at the Commonwealth Games failed to materialise.
The 23-year-old had been hoping to represent Jamaica, where his father was born, at last summer’s Games, but he is convinced that turning pro is in his best interests at this stage.
“After I did the championships, I gave myself a timescale of a year – and that’s now,” Thomas told the Gazette. “I kind of lost that desire to fight in the amateurs.
“The plan had been to go to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the space was open. I spoke to the Jamaican High Commission and they told me I had to get a passport.
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“But the process of getting a Jamaican passport for the first time is very hard and by the time I got that sorted out, Glasgow was coming up fast. So that was disappointing.
“But I just stayed in the gym, keeping fit and trying to train as much as I could and get into the professional mentality. I got my licence two weeks ago and now we’ll see what’s to come.
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“This is the step I’ve been looking towards, it’s the right time for me and I’m going to devote myself to it. I believe that I can go a long way and achieve a lot.”
Thomas has done plenty of sparring in preparation for his move to the paid ranks, with opponents including lightweight prospect Ohara Davies, and former Southern Area super-welterweight champion Ryan Toms.
He also sparred with ex-St Pancras middleweight Alan Higgins, and says he has learned a great deal about the changes he will need to make from his former team-mate, who turned over in 2012.
“As an amateur, if I didn’t turn up or do certain things it didn’t matter so much,” Thomas reflected.
“Now it can mean you get badly hurt. There are a lot of strong people around who want to hurt you.
“That’s very different from the point-scoring system in the amateurs and you’ve got to make sure you’re not taking chances. I’ve seen that from watching people like Alan Higgins and the way he trains.
“It’s not so much the time he puts in but the things he works on. What I’ve realised is that whereas before, boxing was my hobby, now it’s my job – and I’m in it to win it.”
Thomas is yet to sign up with a promoter or arrange a date for his professional debut, although he is hoping to step into the ring as a paid fighter some time in the spring.
But, whenever and wherever his first taste of professional boxing comes along, Thomas can say with certainty that he will be accompanied by CJ Hussein, the St Pancras trainer he has worked with for many years.
“CJ’s my manager and he knows me well – he’s got my best interests at heart and he’s like family to me,” added Thomas.
“He knows what I’m good at and what I’m not good at. It wouldn’t be right going to someone else and it’d feel like I was starting from scratch.
“We’re talking about March or April for my first fight, hopefully somewhere local. Of course you want to get your first fight out of the way, but I’m not in any rush – once you start there’s no stopping!”