Top trainer Andre Daltrey believes the area has two potential champions on its hands after his two young proteges got their professional boxing careers off to winning starts at the weekend.
Daltrey, the former world champion kickboxer, who owns the ARD Training Camp, Aldershot, led fledglings Ryan Davies and Jason Turner to maiden successes on their first venture into the professional ranks at a packed Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, on Saturday night.
Davies, the talented 20-year-old lightweight, enjoyed a two-round stoppage of Sid Razak – after the experienced midlander failed to emerge for the third round – while Turner, an equally-accomplished light-heavyweight, rallied to a points victory over awkward journeyman Jody Meikle.
Now Daltrey believes the contrasting experiences shared by his two young warriors will stand them in good stead for a busy start to their professional careers, starting with the next show, in Harrow, on March 1.
“It was the perfect start,” Daltrey said. “I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“Two comprehensive victories against two very good, experienced opponents, it’s an excellent grounding for both Ryan and Jason.
“Ryan was first up and got us off to a great start. His temperament for someone so young is second to none and he was focused right from the first bell, showing speed, agility, good defence and hard, accurate shots through the guard.
“It would have been nice maybe to get a couple more rounds under his belt but in over 100 fights Razak has only been stopped four times so to get a TKO on his record in a first fight such as that is a great achievement.”
And a delighted Davies, from Farnborough, added: “I just can’t thank everyone enough. Jason and I had over 300 people there cheering us on and that made for a fantastic atmosphere. It’s amazing to know we’ve got that kind of support.
“I admit to being a bit nervous when I first came out into the ring, but once that first bell went it was just about focusing on the fight and executing the gameplan. It’s a pretty lonely place in there.
“I have to say though, it went exactly to plan, I felt I had the measure of him right from the off. He caught me with a jab in the first but that was about it, I felt comfortable throughout and the first I knew that the fight was over was when I spotted his corner walking towards us to shake our hands at the beginning of the third.
“I can’t wait for March 1 now, I've got a real taste for it and I’m ready to go again.”
Daltrey was equally full of praise for 29-year-old Turner, who, in his first competitive fight for almost four years, had to endure a tough examination against Scunthorpe brawler Meikle.
“It was a real learning curve for him,” said Daltrey, backed in the ARD corner by new pro second Darren Harrison.
“But full credit to him, he listened to his corner and stuck to his guns and, in the end, out-fought and out-worked a very able opponent.
“It was a brilliant education for him and he’ll better for it, I’m sure, in the coming fights. Meikle said afterwards in a tweet that he lost to the better man and we got a lot of good feedback from a lot of people out there, impressed with them both. I was very proud.”
Turner, too, was delighted to see off such a roughhouse opponent and vowed to learn from the experience.
“It was a really interesting fight,” the Farnham fighter admitted. “We knew from the outset what he was going to do and after I’d won the first two rounds he started giving out a few dirty tricks – a couple of low blows, headbutt and a shoulder underneath the chin, it was no surprise really.
“He tried everything in the book to try and stop me from boxing but if anything that was a good thing for me at this early stage of my career. He even said to me afterwards that I won’t encounter anything like that for the next 20 fights.
“It was just a case of not getting involved, sticking to the gameplan and listening to my corner to get through it.”
Turner, however, is still waiting to mark a double celebration with the birth of his first child this week.
His wife Marie was due to give birth to a baby boy on the night of the fight, but unlike his Dad, the little fella’s not ready to make his mark on this world just yet.