In the immediate aftermath of a successful outing for two of his fighters at the Walker Dome on Saturday night, promoter-manager Steve Wraith moved quickly to add a fifth professional fighter to his growing stable.
Mark Downing, at 26 years, has boxing blood in his family, but has himself been plying his trade in taekwondo for a number of years, making the England squad on a number of occasions. However, following conversations with family, and the Saunders camo where he’ll be based, he’s decided that, not he has passed his fitness tests with the boxing board, the timing is right for him to make a go in the paid ranks.
He said: “I’m learning off the best in Jeff (Saunders), Neil (Hepper) and the rest of the lads in the gym.
“They’re a fantastic, talented bunch of lads and what they have is unbelievable, the pros and amateurs. To me there’s no better gym to learn my trade, they’re on a different level and I know I’ve a lot to learn but have time to do so.
“I’ll be making my debut in May at Rainton Meadows and I just want to make a go of it and see what happens, that’s all I can do.”
Having been offered a contract with Ross Minter and his London-based Queensberry Promotions, Downing decided, with work playing a major part that his future best lay on Teesside and with the Saunders camp.
Trading at middleweight Downing is scheduled to make his debut under the lights of Rainton Meadows in May, next month’s show coming to soon for the newest addition to the fight game.