Boxer Jason Turner has insisted nothing will stop him from making a winning professional debut this Saturday – not even the arrival of his first child.
The light-heavyweight takes to the ring for his first pro bout at the Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth, where he takes on Scunthorpe journeyman Jody Meikle.
But at the same time his wife Marie is due to give birth to the couple’s first child and Turner said he had his partner’s blessing to fulfil his sporting dream, whatever the outcome.
“We’ve got it all planned, she’s got a birthing partner and is going to stay here with a few of her friends,” the Farnham fighter said.
“Becoming a father is a dream, of course, but so is boxing professionally. It’s going ahead no matter what happens, I’ve got to fight.
“I just have to hope the baby arrives and I win the fight, then we’ll have a double celebration.”
At 29, Turner is relatively old to break into the professional ranks, but the ARD Training Camp boxer, who expects to take around 150 supporters with him to the south coast, believes age is not a factor.
“If you train right it doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re ready,” he added.
“Look at Bernard Hopkins, a world champion at 49. We are trained very well here and we’ve worked extremely hard.
“There’ll be a bit of nervous energy at the moment and I’m sure there’ll be more on the night, but I’m really excited about the prospect too. I can’t wait to get going.
“Andre and Darren are top-class trainers and preparation has been so structured, right down to a tee. Ryan and I are 100% ready to smash it.”
Turner's trainer, Andre Daltrey, at the Aldershot-based ARD Training Camp, has watched the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao train – now he reckons he has the right formula to produce some homegrown champions in the shape of Turner and his training partner, Ryan Davies, who also makes his professional debut on the same bill.
“I’m very proud of the way they have settled into their training, how professional they are and how much they listen,” Daltrey said.
“It’s so important to have people that listen, especially in the professional game, it has to be structured, and these two guys are great at doing that.
“Money just can't buy the experience of going to Las Vegas last year and visiting Freddie Roach's gym, hopefully now that knowhow can pay dividends with Ryan and Jason.
"I’m not going to run before I can walk but I personally think we can go a good, good way. I think we can win titles.”