In an age when it sometimes seems image is everything in boxing, Sam ‘Bullet’ Bowen is a throwback to a time when fighters just fought.
He isn’t fussed about protecting his zero, doesn’t really touch social media and when interviewed, Bowen doesn’t have an awful lot to say for himself.
He just fights.
“I’m not really bothered about the hype,” said the crash, bang, wallop super-featherweight from Ibstock, Leicestershire.
“I don’t go on Facebook saying I’m going to bash people up.
“I just get on with it.”
Under Carl Greaves, Bowen has moved to 9-0 – six wins inside two rounds – without too many outside the trade noticing.
The only time the cameras have been pointed at him, Bowen did what Bowen does. He blasted out a supposedly durable, potentially troublesome opponent inside a couple of rounds with a pulverising left hook to the body, his trademark punch.
That thrashing of Reynaldo Mora in Birmingham last October didn’t convince Eddie Hearn to follow up his interest, leaving Greaves to continue the costly job of promoting a fighter he regards as the best prospect he’s signed.
Greaves estimates it’s cost him thousands to get Bowen where he is now – on the brink of a shot at the English super-featherweight championship.
The 24 year old was set to fight Chris Conwell for the vacant St Georges belt in Nottingham on Saturday, March 11.
Conwell has been ruled out by injury and Bowen instead boxes for the International Challenge Belt next before hopefully meeting Michael Devine this summer.
Greaves hopes that, by the end of the year, Bowen will be in a position to challenge for British honours.
“It would be nice to think one day I could go beyond British level,” said Bowen.
“I fought top lads in the amateurs and held my own with them. I know the pros is different and it’s early days yet, but if I get the right fights and get the chance to train full time, I can do well.”
Bowen started boxing at Earl Shilton Amateur Boxing Club in Leicestershire when he was 11 years old.
“I tried a few other sports,” he said, “but I wasn’t any good at them.
“My dad suggested boxing, I went along and I enjoyed it.
“I only did it as a hobby to start with, but once I started stopping people, I realised I must be good at it.”
Good enough to win Golden Belt, Junior ABA and CYP honours, along with gold at the Haringey Box Cup four times in the seniors.
The 93-13 record shows wins over current pros Joe Cordina, Louis Adolphe, Sam McNess, Sean Davies, Paul Holt and Chris Kongo.
“I wanted to go to the Olympics,” said Bowen, “but I wasn’t really what they were looking for.
“I was too aggressive.
“I wasn’t really my intention to turn pro, but I knew I wasn’t going to get picked by England and then they took the head guards off, so I thought I might as well.
“The opponents are tougher in the pros.
“When I hit lads in the amateurs they would fold, but the pros are more durable.”
Nevertheless, Bowen has still walked through most of his opponents since he turned over a couple of years ago.
Greaves describes Bowen as “exceptionally strong and relentless” – and he’s always in the gym.
“I’m always doing something sporty,” said Bowen. “My missus enjoys going to the gym and we go together at weekends when we can.
“Boxing is a hard sport, but if I didn’t do it, I would be lost. I had three weeks off over Christmas and I didn’t know what to do with myself.
“I got bored.”
The show in Nottingham also features Midlands Area flyweight champion Jamie Williams, Nathan McIntosh