By Elliot Foster
James Branch will make his professional debut later this year after inking terms with Frank Warren.
The 22-year-old Repton ABC amateur represented Team GB on several occasions, winning seven national titles in the coveted green vest.
Branch won the senior elite ABA title at 86kgs last April and has since decided that his style is better suited to the pro game.
“I’m over the moon to be joining up with Frank and the team at BT Sport and BoxNation,” said Branch, who will be trained by Martin Bowers at the Peacock Gym. “There was nothing left for me to achieve in the amateurs, I’d reached pinnacle and now I’m fully focused on making my professional debut this year.”
Boxing Scene understands that the cruiserweight talent is set to make his bow in the paid ranks on April 14 at London’s O2 Arena, exclusively live on BT Sport and BoxNation, as part of the undercard to Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO middleweight title defence against Martin Murray and Terry Flanagan’s clash against Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO title at super-lightweight, though this has yet to be confirmed.
“I believe that my style is suited to the professional game,” Branch added. “I’m a slick southpaw and can cause problems for anyone on my day. Make them miss and make them pay is my motto! I’ve been training with Martin for a month or so now and he’s already made me feel part of the Peacock family.”
Hall of Fame promoter Warren, whose first show of the year takes place at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall venue in London on February 24, exclusively live on BoxNation and BT Sport, called his latest signing “supremely talented” when the news was revealed.
IN OTHER NEWS
Osman Aslam has been confirmed as an addition to Matchroom’s next edition of the JDNXTGEN series, at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, on February 25, exclusively live on Sky Sports.
There have been a few additions to the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s WBC Silver heavyweight title defence against Lucas Browne on March 24 at the O2 Arena in London, including the debut of Louie Lynn, a return to the ring for former British light-heavyweight title challenger Craig Richards in an eight-round contest and action for Richard Riakporhe.
Eddie Hearn, the show’s promoter, has also revealed his desire to have Nick Webb, who returned with a stoppage win at the O2 Arena on February 3, as part of the supporting cast to Lawrence Okolie’s WBA Continental cruiserweight title win over Isaac Chamberlain, added to the Whyte vs. Browne bill, with a few other names still to be confirmed.
Chris Billam-Smith, the Cyclone-promoted prospect, is set to return on March 9 at Bournemouth’s O2 Academy.
And Nathan Gorman will return to the ring later this month, too, after being added to Frank Warren’s February 24 card at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall venue which is to be screened on BoxNation and BT Sport.