BOXING: First bell awaits for debutant Jono

This Is Wiltshire: Jono Price, right, with PJ Rowson, who is promoting tomorrow night’s Trowbridge bill Jono Price, right, with PJ Rowson, who is promoting tomorrow night’s Trowbridge bill

STAVERTON hopeful Jono Price says he can hardly wait to make his professional debut in front of his friends and family at the Trowbridge Civic Centre tomorrow night.

The 19-year-old has traded in his vest at the Contender Gym and will make his debut at super-flyweight against Sheffield’s Anwar Alfadli (1-31-4).

Price learnt to box at the Trowbridge Academy of Boxing and reached the junior ABA championship finals and the CYP (Clubs for Young People) finals during his time as an amateur.

But the youngster is ready is step into a whole new world tomorrow night.

“I’ve been boxing for five years now and I’ve had a lot of fights so this feels like the right thing to do,” said Price, who works at a local supermarket.

“I’ve been training at the Contender for three months or so and got some really good sparring in with Nathan Reeve, who is from Northam-pton and is one of the best in the country.

“I’m obviously still learning my trade but that’s been a great experience.

“The other boxers at the gym have been great to me too. I’ve grown up knowing Nick Blackwell because I went to school (at John of Gaunt) with Dan (Blackwell, his brother).”

Also making his pro debut at the Civic Centre tomorrow will be Melksham heavyweight Luke Martin.

The 28-year-old, who won all nine of his unlicensed fights by knockout, has been pitted against Bulgarian Deyan Mihailov (0-2).

Welterweight Gareth Heard, from Bradford on Avon, will make his fifth consecutive Civic Centre appearance against Lithuanian Aleksas Vaseris (2-7-2).

The 30-year-old was last in action when he outpointed Billy Smith more than nine months ago and is hoping this weekend’s bout can provide a springboard.

“I’ve been training hard ever since the last fight and we’ve tried organising a few other ones since then but they haven’t happened for whatever reason,” said Heard.

“Speaking to people this week has lit me up and I’ve started to get the nerves and the excitement – I can’t wait.

“If I win this fight then I could be doing a ten-rounder for a domestic title or an international masters next but there’s no point thinking about that yet because I’ve got to win on Saturday.”

Topping the bill will be Trowbridge’s two-time British middleweight title challenger Nick Blackwell, who will be looking to bounce back from his loss to Billy Joe Saunders as he takes on tough Latvian Ruslans Pojonisevs (13-24-1).

‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell, 22, was back in the ring with Hertfordshire man Saunders last week as the two honed their skills against one another in sparring.

Doors at the Civic Centre open at 7.30pm.

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