When Newcastle’s Chris Bennett steps in the ring on April 19 he will be achieving a childhood dream of becoming a professional boxer.
Following in the footsteps of his father (of the same name) Bennett makes his debut on the Phil Jeffries and Frank Maloney co-promoted show, Loaded and Ready, which is headlined by Jon-lewis Dickinson’s British title defence over Mike Stafford.
For Bennett boxing is in his blood and he found himself in his fathers gym at a very early age before having his first amateur bout at 12 years-old.
Without having any major success as an amateur, Chris still turns to the paid ranks with an impressive 17 wins from 23 bouts.
He will now look to learn and make his trade in the professional side of the sport and makes his debut against hugely experienced Billy Smith of Worcester.
‘Gypsy Boy’ Smith is a 153 fight experienced journeyman who always provides stern tests for his opponents. Having not won since December 2011, his record currently stands at 13-137-2, but Bennett will be hoping to add one more to the loss column.
Chris said: “I’m very excited for my debut, but of course I am nervous too. I’ve always wanted to be a professional boxer so I’ll be achieving my dream.
“Billy Smith is very experienced and it will be a very tough fight. I’m looking forward to it though and I think I’ll learn a lot from it.”
Bennett will be trained by Paul Charters who was a successful professional boxer during the late ’80’s – and ’90’s. Charters retired in 1993 after winning the Northern Area title for a second time.
Despite losing four of his first five fights Charters retired with a 20-13 record and on top of the two titles he twice contested in British title eliminators and also unsuccessfully challenged for the European title.
Amazingly Charters also beat Bennett Snr. back in 1989. Alongside Akash Hussein, Paul will now coach Bennett Jnr. in his trip through the pro ranks.
Charters said: “I’ve worked with Chris a little in the amateurs and I’ve gave him a lot of tips about how the pros work. I’m excited about the fight but I am nervous too as working the corner is new to me too.
“I think we’ll with a four rounder to get a bit of in ring experience and hopefully he will show his strengths in the fight. He’s a young fighter but he’s improving all the time and he is a quick learner.”
Chris also said he was delighted to be learning a lot of new things from Paul. In preparation for his debut he has been sparring with Lee Mould and also Kirk Goodings (Kirk also appears on the April 19 bill).
Of what he is hoping to achieve, Bennett’s aim couldn’t be simpler:
“I just want to win every single one of my fights and hopefully I can win a few titles along the way.” he said.
Also appearing on the April 19 bill will be Glenn Foot, Gary Fox, Peter Cope, Anthony Nelson, Tommy Ward, Shafiq Asif, Kirk Goodings, Paul Truscott, Callum Winton and Sunderland heavyweight Danny Hughes.
Tickets are available from boxers or Phil Jeffries priced at £35 and £70 (ringside).