By Jon Briggs: The latest edition of Debutant Watch takes a trip to Reading to catch up with former Queensbury Boxing League fighter Dan Neville. On Saturday night at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, Dan will transition into the professional game under the guidance of coach Sam Fleetwood and manager Mickey Helliet. Dan has been matched against Swindons’ Joe Beeden in a four rounder.
The 30-year-old from Berkshire who fights out of the Bulmershe Boxing Club in Reading feels fighting in the Queensbury Boxing League has given him the right preparation as he looks to pit his wits against the UK’s domestic featherweights.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I used to get in a bit of trouble fighting and stuff so I joined the boxing gym. I went there to learn and see how I got on. I started out doing the fitness classes and then I just wanted to box and it just carried on from there really.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“Ricky Hatton was my favorite fighter. He was a brilliant fighter and I loved his body shots. He was very exciting to watch.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I had eleven amateur fights. You could say I was a bit lazy as an amateur.
“I had four fights in the Queensbury Boxing League. It’s a great platform and put me on TV a few times. It was good exposure and you had to sell tickets as well which prepares you for the pro game. I definitely had my hardest fights in the Queensbury and I came away with three wins and one loss on a cut and picked up a title too.”
How do you know the time is right to turn pro?
“It’s now or never for me. I have got a few years to see how far I can get up the ladder. I plan to stay in the gym and keep fit so I am ready to fight every time one comes up.”
Do you see a difference between the professional and amateur codes?
“The pro game is a bit slower, as you only have two minute rounds as an amateur you have to go for it the whole time. As a pro with longer fights you can relax more and have to make your shots count.”
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I work full time as a bathroom fitter. It can be hard work but I push through it, finish work then train straight away, then get some rest time at home. They are long days when you are working and boxing but I love the sport so it’s worth it. I sometimes train at the weekend but make sure I get one rest day to spend with my family”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I am a come forward, aggressive fighter.”
What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?
“I am aiming to win a southern area title. I’m just going to push on as far as I can and see how far up the ladder I get.”