By Terence Dooley
Danny Randall, Joe Gallagher’s latest protégé, takes his professional bow on the undercard of John Murray versus Jon Thaxton later tonight. Randall has turned his back on an engineering career in order to see how far he can go in the professional ranks. Danny, 23, takes on the 35-year-old veteran Jason Nesbitt in a scheduled four-rounder; the fight kicks off the bill at the Leisure Centre, Altrincham.
Randall has sparred with professional fighters for years. Danny has been a constant fixture at Gallagher’s Denton gym; he now believes that the time has come for him step into the harsh boxing arena. Danny was introduced to the crowd at the Murray-Thaxton weigh-in; he savoured the moment before telling me that he has mixed emotions going into this fight.
“I’m excited and nervous at the same time,” said the Mancunian. “I’m happy to be boxing on the undercard of Murray and Thaxton – a much-anticipated fight. I’ve been boxing since I was ten-years-old. It’s been thirteen-years. I’ve boxed with John Murray since I was fourteen. I’ve grown up in the same gym as John and worked with Joe Gallagher for all these years. So it is a nice touch to be turning pro on John’s undercard. He’s 27-0 and I’m just getting started.”
Randall fought a half-century of unpaid contests before walking away from the sport to pursue a career with British Telecom; he recently decided to make a full-time commitment to the business of boxing.
“I had over fifty amateur fights,” he confirmed. “I went to the School Boys semis and then chose a career with British Telecom over boxing. I’ve been with BT over seven years now and decided to put boxing first and my career second. I’m an engineer but didn’t want to live a life of regret about having not boxed. I decided that it is now or never. I’m twenty-three and want to push on in boxing.”
Randall should make a successful transition. Birmingham’s Nesbitt has not won since 2007 and he will be there to give Danny some rounds, rather than a stern test. Randall believes that his gym battles have given him the foundations needed to beat men like Nesbitt.
He said: “I’ve sparred with John and done spars with Femi Fehintola, Seamus Macklin and Joe Murray. We’ve got the best team in the world and I’ve got Joe and Kerry Kayes behind me - you can’t get much better than that.
“I just want to get the rounds in tomorrow night. I’ve sold two hundred tickets. My fans will be supporting John, and the other way round. I want to get some rounds in but I will try for the stoppage on the night. I can box and fight but like to do a bit of both. I’m not as much on the front foot as John Murray but I can mix it up. I’ll have in mind that if I get a good performance I could get on TV.”
ITV4 will broadcast the bill from 8pm.