Bantamweight boxer Sam Larkin believes the postponement of his professional debut has worked out to be a blessing in disguise.
The former Sandygate ABC fighter, who has been weaned into the paid ranks by Elite Boxing coach Alex Matvienko, the mastermind behind Luke Blackledge’s Commonwealth title triumph, says he’s had more time to work on becoming a more complete package.
The 27-year-old was set to go in mid-August until a clerical error, relating to the results of a routine eye test, a mandatory check required by the British Boxing Board of Control, prevented him from being sanctioned in time to compete.
But with his weight already nailed down, his fitness up to scratch, Larkin has been able to knuckle down and perfect his technique ahead of the rescheduled contest against teenage Yorkshireman Kieran Holman at Colne Municipal Hall on October 26.
“I made a few mistakes in my last camp,” he said. “It was so intense and I’d never done anything like that before. It’s been a bit of a blessing in disguise really. I’ve sold a lot more tickets as well.
“I was struggling to make weight in the final week before so I was pushing myself that hard I could have been quite weak going in to the fight. I feel a lot better this time around.
“When I first went to Alex Matvienko I still had a lot of bad habits from my amateur days and I wasn’t fully fit. I’m still a work in progress.
“I’m on weight now, I’m fit so now I can just work on my boxing and technique. Everything was a bit rushed before.
“I’ll just drill my boxing skills. I’m fit, strong and on weight which is brilliant. I think I’ve already gone through all the nerves as well after the last time.”
Taking on a southpaw could be seen as a huge gamble in his first episode as a pro and it’s a challenge that the 118lb pugilist isn’t taking lightly.
Osman Aslam, who stopped Jack Summers on the undercard of Amir Khan’s win over Samuel Vargas at Arena Birmingham, has been drafted in to help polish preparations while mixed martial artist Pietro Menga has also agreed to join the party.
Larkin said: “Osman is a future world champion. He’s a weight above but it’s the best sparring that I could ask for. He can switch his stance and mix things up to suit. He’s top class and that’s the perfect preparation for me.
“Pietro is a tough lad as well and he hits hard. There won’t be a bantamweight who hits as hard as him so I’ll be ready.”
The former Park High School pupil, who now resides in Barrowford, revealed that he could have made his debut earlier, on a show away from Colne. However, the prospect of having his baptism in his hometown was too much of a pull.
“I’m more prepared now and I’m excited,” he said. “I’m over the disappointment. There’ll be no more setbacks now, I’m good to go. I just want to get my debut under my belt because it feels like I’ve been training forever.
“I’m going to be even more on it when I get in to the ring this time. It’s a massive moment for me, especially fighting in Colne.
“I could’ve fought earlier on a show elsewhere but I wanted to wait and fight in my hometown. I had to wait for this opportunity, it was important to me.
“I’m ready to get going now and figure out where I’m at in the sport.”
Tickets for Sam’s debut are priced at £35 for ringside seats and £30 for the gallery. Anybody interested in purchasing tickets can contact him via his Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/samkit.larkin.
Sam would like to thank Unique Clean, JOG Building Services Ltd, Norpol Recycling, M. Hughes Sports Massage, Intershape Fitness, DWE Building, PKB Building and Roofing, the Asphalt Works and Steptoe’s Yard for their ongoing sponsorship and support.