By Jon Briggs: There’s guaranteed excitement in the boxing community when word gets out a new heavyweight hopeful is joining the professional ranks. This Edition of Debutant Watch heads to Erith, Kent to feature Scott Saward who makes his pro debut Saturday night at the famous York Hall, Bethnal Green in a four rounder against Dmitrij Kalinovskij.
Scott is no stranger to fighting, he has competed at a high standard across different martial arts and now feels the time is right to be let loose on the domestic heavyweight scene. Scott, 24, fights out of the Peacock Gym in Canning Town, East London under coaches Brian Lawrence and Ian Andrews.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I started Karate with my current coach Ian Andrews when I was six years old and fought for nine years, some of that time was spent fighting competitively on the national squad. As time went on they changed the rules in Karate and made it a non-contact sport so you couldn’t hit people in the face. This nullified the sport for me.
“Next up I tried a form of Chinese kick boxing and then I progressed into MMA from the age of seventeen. I had some amateur and professional bouts in MMA but we always struggled getting matched up and had so many opponents pulling out of fights with me.
“My hands were always my strength when I fought in Karate and MMA so we decided to give boxing a go.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“I wasn’t really into boxing when I was younger. I was always aware of Lennox Lewis and remember seeing the headlines after he had beaten Mike Tyson in 2002. I used to love watching Bruce Lee when I was doing my martial arts.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I just had the one amateur fight.”
How do you know the time is right to turn pro?
“I’ve gained plenty of fighting experience over the years and have done plenty of ring walks under the lights in MMA shows so that side of boxing isn’t going to be new to me like it will be to some amateur boxers.
“Working with Brian he always makes sure you have heavy sparring in the build up to a fight so that will ensure I am ready come Saturday.”
“My pro debut has been a long time coming. I had previously signed a professional contract with Frank Warren but unfortunately I failed the medical due to my eye sight so the contract was void. I had laser eye surgery on my eyes and after around a nine month layoff I don’t have any more trouble with my sight.
“I also cut through two tendons in my hand preparing food so that was another lay off before I could get started as a pro.”
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I am lucky that my trainer Ian has a Cab firm so I can work in the control office and work the hours that suit my training best. I usually work the mornings and go straight to training after which works perfectly."
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I want to try and box how Lennox Lewis boxed, I want to try and emulate his jab. I like the way he set them up with his left hand and then sent in the big right hand and people just didn’t see it coming. I will be a rangy fighter using the distance to my advantage.
"I always go in for the finish too, I’m not going out there to hide behind my jab. I want to get the KO’s as that’s what the fans want to see.”
What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?
“I want to go as far as I can. I am definitely aiming for titles. There is no point in turning professional half-heartedly. It’s a hard, hard sport and there’s no point going in there and coming out second best.”