Birmingham boxer Don Broadhurst will step into the ring at a packed National Indoor Arena on Saturday relishing his first fight in his home town for more than five years.
And the fact the last time the pint-sized pugilist stepped into a ring in Birmingham was at Lea Hall British Legion shows just how far he has come.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games flyweight champion (right) chose to turn professional after winning a gold in Melbourne, Australia and has gone on to win all his seven fights since turning professional including an impressive knockout victory over Kakhaber Avetisian in Bolton in December.
But with his last two fights cancelled due to reasons beyond his control, Broadhurst admits he has spent a frustrating six months and cannot wait to show the Birmingham public just what he can do as he appears on the undercard of the sell-out Amir Khan-Michael Gomez bill this weekend.
Broadhurst, 24, from Erdington, said “It is brilliant this fight is taking place in Birmingham. I am so proud to be boxing in my home town and it means all the people who have supported me over the years can finally come and see me in action now.”
Broadhurst, who promoter Frank Warren credits with having sold 1,000 of the 10,000 tickets for the sell-out contest, added: “I am over the moon to get this fight on. I can’t really explain it but it will be great to have all my fans there for me on the night.”
Broadhurst’s mum Denise will step into an arena for the first time to see her son in his 100th fight.
“My mum has never come and watched me box before and this is a bit of a milestone for me so she has promised she will be there,” he said. “She is relaxed and has confidence in my ability and she already knows the result anyway – I am not going into that ring to lose.”
Broadhurst recalled his last fight in the city back in 2003. “It was a home show for my amateur club Birmingham Irish when I was about 19, he said. “It was in Lea Hall and I won that fight in the second round.
“That was my first ever fight as a senior and my opponent already had a lot of senior victories under his belt at every level back then so it was a real step up for me and I hope this fight can go the same way.”
Broadhurst’s opponent on Saturday night is Frenchman Alain Bonnel who has won 11 and lost 11 fights in his career.
Broadhurst said: “I have got a lot of experience now travelling all around the world and boxing Australia, Malaysia, China and I have been around.
“While I am delighted the fight is in Birmingham really as long as there is a ring somewhere and an opponent I will always be there and that is all that matters.”
The Aston Villa fanatic will see his former British Commonwealth team-mates including fellow Brummie and good friend Frankie Gavin jet out to Beijing next month for the 2008 Olympics but he has no regrets at turning his back on that competition to go pro.
He said: “I admit I love all the trappings of professional boxing – the fame, the fortune, more television opportunities, the chance to get a bigger profile. It is what I have always wanted to do and it suits me.
“It is still early days for me and my last two fights have been cancelled but I am sure I can make a living at this game. To win in front of all the fans who have supported my career so far would be incredible.”
The bill also features a Commonwealth light-middleweight title bout between Welshman Bradley Pryce and West Bromwich’s Marcus Portman. Coventry fighter Steve Bendall fights Liverpool’s Paul Smith for the middleweight championship of England.