Dylan Cheema is determined to impact the lightweight division as his pro boxing career gathers pace.
He’s next in action at the H Suite in Edgbaston, Birmingham, for Friday’s fight night on December 17, with the show being staged by BCB Promotions.
The former two-weight world kickboxing champion, who is originally from Coventry, switched sports with his pro debut at the same venue, on October 17.
He was paired with capable journeyman Lee Connelly, who is used to completing distances past the four rounds that were scheduled.
Connelly played his part and pinched the third, leaving Cheema needing a final flourish to be sure of the victory, at the final bell. Referee Chris Dean scored it 39-37.
The 25-year-old was pleased with his performance, on the whole, and is equally glad to be back out again, before 2021 draws to a close.
He leads a busy life, with his working obligations meaning it’s a well-trodden path from Manchester to Birmingham for him.
Most of his training comes in Birmingham under head coach Richard Waller, Simon Akufo-Tetteh and Baggi Singh, with Paul ‘PJ’ Rowson managing him.
Cheema used his debut to bring the noise at the H Suite, too, and is planning on making waves in the lightweight ranks, where he sees his long-term future.
He said: “I wasn’t sure whether there was enough time to get another one in, before the end of the year, but then I got the call asking if I wanted to box again.
“It’s actually eight weeks, from bell to bell, and it falls well because I can have Christmas and New Year off, after the fight, then hit it again in January, so it’s come at the right time.
“It’s good to keep the momentum going and I want to get out again early next year, so I can take one more step towards being in the mix to climb the ladder.
“I’ve got a lot of experience, from competing at a high level, that I’m bringing into boxing, which I think is helping me. I’m all about being a part of the big nights.
“I still work full-time, I’m a manager for a cash and carry company in Manchester and I love my job, even if it means four hours of driving a day!
“I enjoyed my debut. Lee is a tough test for anyone at that stage of a boxing career and is more of a six-round fighter. It was me who wanted that, even more than my team.
“I got the job done, by three rounds to one, and I’ve no complaints about losing the third. I thought I’d switch it up, by sitting in the pocket, and it didn’t work.
“That put more pressure on me to win the last round, which I did comfortably enough, and it was great to have my hand raised, at the end of it.
“I did close to 200 tickets last time and, hopefully, I will have around the same again. That sort of atmosphere was my trademark, in kickboxing.
“To get the people on their feet, with the Indian drummers (two) playing, when I came out, brought another level out of me and my opponent. It raised our game.”
Tickets for the H Suite bill are available now, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.
Tommy Collins and Tom Brennan no longer feature.