Luton welterweight Alex Bishop joined the professional ranks in style with a 40-36 win over Slovakian Rudolf Durica at York Hall on Saturday.
Bishop debuted on the British Warriors show billed as the ‘Big Bang’ and he certainly proved he can pack a punch as he pushed the durable Durica right to the final bell.
The Slovakian had only been stopped once in 21 fights, but another three minutes would almost certainly have seen his second.
Bishop started with few nerves and used his distance to land the overhand right on the advancing Durica.
In the second, Bishop began to establish the jab and set traps for his opponent who naively stepped into the distance and took heavy punishment from the Hodbox Academy fighter.
The third saw Bishop continue to land stiff jabs, and each body shot seemed to hurt the 39-year-old Slovakian who began to tire and retreat.
In the final three minutes Durica was in survival mode as he used his experience to spoil Bishop and clinch when possible.
Bishop stuck to his gameplan and continued the pressure to the delight of his visiting fans, coming close to ending the contest just as the final round came to an end.
It was an impressive start from the former Hockwell Ring ABC fighter, whose skills as a highly decorated amateur fighter transferred perfectly to the paid ranks.
The former Haringey Cup and King of the Ring gold medallist spoke of the fight and his ambition to move on quickly to the next fight.
He said: “ I felt tense, maybe paced it a bit too much, but I feel like I dominated every second.
“He’s only been stopped once by a Southern Area champion and that was the fifth round and this was only four.
“Even though this was just my debut, I see myself up there. I’m glad have a few rounds under my belt.
“There’s a show on in September I’m hoping to be on that.
“I have to say it was great to be at York Hall and to have that amount of support as well.”