Irish amateur star Ryan Burnett will make his professional debut next month.
The 20-year-old from Belfast will box on a show held in association with Steve Wood’s VIP Promotions at the Olympia in Liverpool on May 24.
Burnett, who will fight at bantamweight, should have made his pro berth last year, but queries on his medical led to more than 12 months of inactivity.
During that time he stayed in the gym with trainer Ricky Hatton, and was given the green light to box by the British Boxing Board of Control in February.
"I can’t wait. I’ve been looking forward to this for 12 months and now it’s finally here. I’m counting down the minutes," Ryan said.
"Now I’ve got a date it’s about getting my head down and putting in the hard work.
"Because of the time I’ve had to wait, I really want to make a big statement. But I know I can’t just go in there throwing bombs, I have to stay calm and listen to what Ricky tells me to do in the corner.
"I’ve had more than a year in the gym working on technique and now it’s time to show people how I’ve come on."
Despite his debut being away from home, Burnett believes a small corner of the Emerald Isle will behind him when he steps into the ring.
He said: "Every day since I signed to go pro I’ve loads of people asking me when I’m fighting and how they can get tickets. I’m expecting at least 100 to 150 to fly over from Belfast for this fight.
"Liverpool has quite a large Irish population as well, so I hope some of them will hear about me boxing there and come out to support me."
As an amateur, Ryan won 94 of 98 bouts, picking up seven All-Ireland titles, six Antrim titles, four Ulster titles and a gold medal at the Youth Olympics.
April 9, 2013