Boxing promoter Frank Warren has worked with some of the sports’ biggest names and so is perhaps more qualified than most to predict a future champion when he sees one but even he admits he thinks he has found real potential in Birmingham’s Don Broadhurst.
In fact Warren is so confident in the 23-year-old fighter’s potential at flyweight that he is already comparing him to another great British champion at that weight – Charlie Magri. Magri was a boxing sensation in the late 1970s and early 80s and won British, European and WBC world flyweight titles during a glittering career which saw him compete in 35 professional bouts, winning thirty of them.
Broadhurst, from Erdington, will face Alain Bonnel from Brussels tonight at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena and more than 1,000 tickets of the 10,000 sellout capacity crowd are thought to have been sold by fans eager to see the Brummie in action on the undercard of the Amir Khan v Michael Gomez showdown.
The former Commonwealth gold medallist from the 2006 games in Australia turned professional and has won all seven of his fights since then.
Warren, who is promoting Broadhurst’s fight through his company Sports Network, is greatly impressed by the youngster and predicts a bright future for him in the ring.
He said: “Don reminds me very much of Charlie Magri. Magri fought and won a British title in only his third ever fight and I don’t think Don is too far off fighting for a title like that. That is what we are aiming to do. He just needs a little bit more experience but now, once we get this fight out of the way, I think we will have him boxing regularly.
“He is a cracking little fighter. For me going back to the Commonwealth Games in 2006 I thought he was the best actual boxer in the British squad as far as his performances were concerned.”
Broadhurst himself said: “I haven’t boxed in Birmingham for many years – not since my early amateur days – and I am proud to be back in my home town."
Broadhurst has had to wait six months for a fight after his first opponent was withdrawn on medical advice and then a show he was due to box in was cancelled, but insists he is ready and raring to go tonight.
And although his former team-mates, including Birmingham boxer Frankie Gavin, are preparing for the Olympics next month having remained at thair amateur status he has no regret.
“I always wanted to turn pro and it is working out for me.It is what I always wanted to do and I feel it is what I had to do. Being in a squad I feel I went a bit stale and needed something to motivate me.
“Turning professional has definitely done that for me.”
Broadhurst, who is now training in Telford with former WBC super-middleweight world champion Richie Woodhall, said: “Changing gyms and joining Richie has helped me. There are a lot more people in the gym now and the atmosphere and the banter and the camaraderie is great.
“We have a laugh but there is a lot of respect in there. It has also helped me having more people to spar.”