Former Sandygate ABC star Sam Larkin is ready to silence his critics with the first episode of his new series in the bantamweight division set to air.
While some have suggested that the 27-year-old has missed the boat - inferring that the 118lb pugilist is too long in the tooth to turn over to the professional ranks - Larkin is confident that he’s making the transition at the right time.
Alex Matvienko’s student certainly hasn’t left much room for error but, with wisdom on his side and a settled lifestyle to boot, Elite Boxing’s latest hope feels he can thrive in his new surroundings.
“I’m always watching, always learning,” he said. “I’ve grown up. People say I’m turning over at the wrong time but in my eyes it’s the best time.
“I’m focussed and I know what I want out of life. I know what I want to do. There are no persuasions, no distractions.
“I’ve got my family, I’ve got my house, I’ve got everything. I want to see what level I can get to in boxing now.”
Larkin was brought up on the effervescence and showmanship of Prince Naseem, who finished his career with multiple world championships and a knockout-to-win ratio of 84%.
The one-time Park High School pupil isn’t promising the same animation in his ring walks or a front somersault over the top rope ahead of his bout. However, he does believe that he carries that one-punch knockout power.
“My favourite fighter was Prince Naseem,” said Larkin, who makes his pro debut against Kieran Holman at Colne Muni tomorrow. “I grew up watching him constantly. I love watching all boxing, it’s brilliant.
“I love the sport. I love fighting, I love getting in the ring and having a tear up. I’ve come here and I’ve learned a lot.
“I’m strong, big, fit. The last fight getting cancelled was a blessing in disguise. I’m faster, more technical, everything is better. I just want to get going now.
“I know when to use my boxing ability, when to fight on the back foot, when to go on the front foot.
“I had a lot of bad amateur habits when I came here, I was unfit. I’m still learning every day and I’m getting better every day.
“I’m not cocky. I’m not going to say that I’m going to do this or do that. I think my main attribute is my strength and power, especially at bantamweight.”
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.