Earby boxer Josh Holmes has been thrown head first in to the lions’ den in readiness for his second bout as a professional later this month.
The 23-year-old is the headline act at Colne Muni on June 30th, a show promoted by Maree Boxing and Frankin Duffin in association with Heatseeker Boxing.
He’ll face Nicaraguan Michael Isaac Carrero, who fights out of Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain, once Sam Larkin, Luke Blackledge, Alex McCloy, Dan Catlin, Liam O’Reilly, Aaron Hayden, Artif Ali and Kurt Grieve have all featured on the undercard.
The slick super-featherweight had been making light work of his sparring partners at the Manchester-based Phoenix Camp, forcing trainer Robert Rimmer to up the ante.
The former Eastburn ABC pugilist, a Yorkshire Area champion, who won 24 of 29 contests as an amateur, said: “I already feel like I’ve improved so much.
“I’m picking things up along the way and I’m hitting harder. I’ve put a few people down in sparring and, as a result, my confidence is growing.
“That’s bringing out the best of my ability. It’s going better than expected, I could never have imagined it going this well.”
Unbeaten Teenage lightweight Sean Fennell was called into action to push Holmes in to deeper waters as was Evaldas Petrauskas, the ‘Lithuanian Mike Tyson’ who joined Vasyl Lomachenko on the podium at London’s Olympic Games in 2012.
“My coach [Robert Rimmer] has wanted me to fight these bigger opponents to put me under a little bit more pressure,” said Holmes, who out-pointed Naheem Chaudhry on debut at King George’s Hall.
“I’ve been putting quite a few lads at my weight down in sparring. Boxing doesn’t always go your way so it’s been good to be given these tests. I’ve got to stay more switched on.
“I’ve had to adapt, it’s teaching me not to fold under pressure and I’ve learned that I can take big shots. You’ve got to prepare for all eventualities in boxing, you’re always going to have to take a punch.
“It’s good to go up against these lads who are pushing me back because that’s when I’m at my best.
“He [Petrauskas] has had more than 300 amateur fights, he’s very experienced, but I put up a good battle. We got in some good, solid rounds and I was more than happy with that.
“He was short, built like Mike Tyson and the pressure was relentless. I’ve never taken a bigger shot, but my coach told me that I’ve definitely passed the ‘chin check’.
“I landed some beautiful shots as well.
“It just shows what level I’ve reached in such a short space of time. My coaches are very happy with me at the minute.”
In a stable that houses talents such as Jack Massey, Charlie Schofield, Ryan Doyle and Mark Heffron, who takes on Daniel Urbanski at the First Direct Arena in Leeds tomorrow, Holmes is certainly keeping the right company.
“It’s great being around them,” he said. “We bounce off each other.
“It’s exciting to think where I could be in a year or two.
“The future is definitely very bright.
“Colne always puts on a very good show when the boxing is on and this one is going to be a sell out.
“I’ve been told that I’m headlining it as well.
“That’s a big step, it’s only my second professional fight. It’s crazy, but it shows that I’m doing something right and impressing the right people.
“I can’t believe I’m already being put in this position.
“I’ve never been, but I’ve been told what it’s like.
“I’ve watched videos from when Shayne Singleton fought there.
“It will be a great atmosphere, it’s going to be loud, it’s going to be an exciting night at Colne Muni.”
Josh would like to thank Hippo Motor Group, Sandy Lane Deli, Palmbeck Plumbing and Heating, Skipton Self Drive, JH Grooming, M.A. Shaw Building Contractors, Salterforth Nurseries and Garden Centre Ltd, Green's Masonry Ltd, Earby Fitness Mill and The Punch Bowl in Earby for their continued sponsorship and support.