Northampton middleweight Kieron Conway has been matched tough on his professional debut.
The 20-year-old meets Sonny Whiting over four rounds at Bedworth Civic Hall on Saturday, February 25.
Whiting is a 28-year-old from Rochester who last year snapped the unbeaten records of two prospects.
James Conway, father and trainer of the ex-Kings Heath amateur, describes Whiting as “a tough, seasoned pro who comes to win.”
He added: “We are chucking Kieron in at the deep end.
“But I told (management) MGM we didn’t want an opponent who just runs away.
“That’s not going to do Kieron any good – and it’s not what his supporters want to see either.
“We want an opponent who will hit Kieron back – and that’s Whiting.”
MGM chief Matthew Macklin rates Conway a good prospect and wants top promoter Eddie Hearn to put him on his shows.
Beating Whiting on his debut will get him noticed.
To prepare, the Conways have had nine days’ training in Marbella, at the MGM Gym.
James said: “When you wake up at seven o’clock in the morning in Northampton and it’s raining, it’s hard to get out of bed, but over in Marbella, it’s not a chore to get up.
“The weather is good. You want to get up and get cracking. The sunshine revives you.
“There were lots of hills to run up and down, we did strength and conditioning work and got some good sparring.
“We got top-level sparring with (British title contender) Nav Mansouri, but the toughest sparring Kieron gets is at home.
“Noel Smith is strong and if you switch off against him, he will really put it on you.”
Conway switches to professional boxing after winning 20 of his last 21 amateurs – and according to his father, he’s ready to make an impact.
“I’m his dad and I want to tell him off,” said Conway, “but I haven’t been able to.
“Kieron has been brilliant. He’s ready to go.”
Tickets to watch Conway, who’s sponsored by Mark Wilson Plumbing, Clues Menswear and Project Warrior, are available from 07919 344305.