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BEN COLLINS JOINS TEAM QUEENSBERRY

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT NEWCOMER Ben Collins has signed a promotional agreement with Frank Warren and Queensberry.

The 19-year-old officially teams up with the Hall of Fame promoter having won his debut over four rounds in Birmingham back in December with a 40-36 victory over Genadij Krajevskij.

He also enters the professional ranks off the back of gold medal success at the 2023 Haringey Box Cup

“Early on I didn’t do much as a schoolboy junior and lost more than I won before, as a senior, I won the Haringey Box Cup in the Elite Senior level,” reported the Stourbridge teen. “I fought the three top boys in the country to win it in one of the toughest categories.

“It was a standout moment for me at the Ally Pally last year and it was basically what made me decide to turn over. I knew I was at that level, but I needed to achieve something to prove it.

“It was the defining point of wanting to win something as a senior in one of the major tournaments and then push on to turn pro.

“I had my meeting with Queensberry in December before having my pro debut later in the month on the 20th on one of Errol Johnson’s local shows. I wanted to stay active because I hadn’t fought since the July and I wanted to get one under my belt.

“It went well and I won all the rounds. I’ve had a few comments saying I looked like an experienced pro and not someone on debut. The pro game sort of suits my style more, with being more rangy looking for the shots kind of thing, rather than the amateur in and out.”

For the hulking 6ft 4” 175-pounder, Queensberry is the place to be for a young fighter seeking to build a productive career in the pros.

“I’m buzzing, it is the best promotion firm to be with and I am looking to progress my journey on and be up there with the greats.

“Light heavyweight is a stacked division and being with a top promotional company can push me in the right direction and lead me down the path to big fights in the next couple of years when things are where we want to be.’

Collins, who is trained and managed by Errol Johnson, is learning his trade at the BCB gym alongside two significantly more experienced Queensberry teammates.

“Obviously I am in the gym with Zach Parker and sparring with him most weeks because we box under the same coach in Errol. Obviously I am getting the experience off him to progress.

“I am also mixing with Liam Davies and over the last year Liam has kind of taken me under his wing a little bit and we are training with the same S&C coach and stuff. So basically I am doing everything with Liam and he is showing me how he is doing it and I am just following.

“We were in Tenerife two weeks ago and I got more experience over there, mixing up the training.”

In an unusual sideline for a professional new boy, Collins spends his spare time running his own amateur boxing club alongside his father Carl.

He goes on to explain just why the gym carries the name of ‘Team Pumpkin Boxing’.

“I run an amateur gym myself with my dad. We’ve only set it up in the last year.

“When I was eight and I was in the gym for the first time, I was really shy to go into the gym. So the coach came out to have a little chat to get me in and he asked me what my name is. I said Ben and he replied that all boxers have to have a nickname.

“My mum was stood next to me and I thought it would be a good idea to tell him that my mum calls me Pumpkin! So it kind of stuck. When I was younger I used to get pelters for it, but now people just call me Pumpkin and it is what I am known as in my area. If I am walking around town people call me Pumpkin rather than Ben.

“So Team Pumpkin Boxing became the gym name and we’ve got 128 kids in the gym across three sessions each night, broken down from 5-16 year olds. So I am always doing a bit with them, coaching and giving a bit back.

“We are doing loads and getting involved with the community. We’ve just had a knife bin because the gym is in Brierley Hill – the neighbouring town where I went to school – where there has been a lot of knife crime and incidents.

“So, as a gym, between us we have got loads of kids in for programmes and we are going into schools. We are also working with the police on knife crime and anti-social behaviour, trying to stop kids going down the route of gangs and carrying knives.”

Promoter Frank Warren says he is delighted to add another young light heavyweight talent to his team of fighters.

“I am thrilled to bring Ben on board and continue the terrific relationship we have established with Black Country Boxing. At just 19, Ben is clearly a top young talent and he is operating in a division that is booming in the UK and I fully expect him to be part of big fights and nights once he has fully learned the ropes and picked up the necessary experience.”


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