John McCallum out to seize big boxing chance

John McCallum. Picture: Greg Macvean
John McCallum. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Light middleweight boxer John McCallum admits it will be as if “Christmas has come early” should he defeat Poland’s Sylwester Walczak in tomorrow’s Lionheart and Braveheart show at York Hall in London.

The 25-year-old’s professional career appeared to be in jeopardy until new manager and London-based promoter Steve Goodwin stepped in three months ago.

After comfortably ousting William Warburton in his first bout in October, the Capital fighter now has the opportunity to win his first pro belt, the vacant International Masters Bronze title.

Walczak’s last win came at the York Hall last March, but he has lost his last four fights. “It’s all happened really quickly,” McCallum said. “I only signed with Steve in September and then boxed just three weeks after signing a contract. He’s now managed to get me an International Masters title and a ten-rounder which is going to be a step up.

“I’ve got the fitness for it and I feel really sharp now. York Hall is the home of boxing and that’s where all the big fights are. This will be my first time boxing in London since I’ve been professional. I want to make a good impact so I can get regular fights and this one could put me in the top ten in Britain before I can start looking for a British title challenge.”

Paul Appleby is on the same card this weekend, fighting Philip Bowes as the former British super featherweight champion looks to revive his own career. However, the 26-year-old light welterweight says he will switch to lightweight after the final bell tomorrow.

He said: “I am going to move down to lightweight, I took this fight to stay busy. I’ll have another fight after (this one) and then hopefully start fighting for titles again. I just need to keep busy – a fight’s a fight.”

Edinburgh’s John Thain returns to action at the Echo Arena in Liverpool tomorrow, when he faces Max Maxwell. The light middleweight, who has a perfect ten since switching to the pro circuit in 2010, hasn’t fought since April after his proposed bout in August with Ronnie Heffron was postponed when he suffered a cut above his left eye in sparring.

Thain, 26, said: “I’m very keen and just want to get down there and fight. You just have to be patient though and keep control. I can look back at August and just think it wasn’t meant to be – I was very disappointed at the time and it was hard to get over. I believe I am a better boxer this year, though, and I need to perform well tomorrow.”