A Manchester boxer who recently turned professional is hoping to join the long list of fellow Mancunians to make their mark on the boxing world.
Sam Hyde, 20, from Sale, makes his professional debut in March, after a promising amateur career which has seen the two-time ABA national champion and PYP champion enjoy considerable success.
Hyde wasted no time in deciding whether to leave the amateur ranks, after being offered the chance to seize his dream and turn professional just before the New Year.
Sam told MM: “From day one becoming pro was in my future, but sometimes you just don’t know what opportunities you will get and what things will distract you.
“This was a big dream and when it came along I grabbed it with both hands.”
After taking up boxing at an early age, ‘Hitman-Hyde’ was rated as one of the top amateur prospects in the country, and was picked to fight for England.
“I was a top amateur boxer, one of the best in the country. I boxed some of the best in the country and beat most of them,” he added.
“I was then picked for England to fight against boxers from Scotland and Wales but that didn’t happen, although that got me recognised and I was picked for Great Britain.”
However, amateur boxing differs from its older sibling, with a greater emphasis on the technical side of the fine art, as opposed to the sheer brute force style you see from many professional bruisers.
Sam says his brute-force fighting style is far more suited to this style of boxing, which influenced his decision to join the pro-ranks. He told MM: “I went to training camp in Sheffield but that was short lived because amateur boxing is done on a points system.
“I am a bit of a banger with a come forward style which isn’t suited for amateur boxing, this put my Olympic hopes down the drain.”
Sam had to quickly refocus after missing out on the Olympics, but this only pushed him further towards his real dream of making it in the pro’s.
Although Sam is looking forward to a long and prosperous professional career, he has already racked up a number of prestigious accolades.
Having had success throughout the junior ranks, Sam’s long-time sponsor showed faith the young boxer to make the leap into the professional arena.
“My manager, who had looked after me since I was 16, I am now 20, used to be my sponsor and saw me win most of my fights, I have only lost four fights in my whole career, said Sam.
“He took a liking to me and we spoke about him becoming my full time manager which he did.”
This decision is one of the biggest Sam has ever had to make and started a whole host of changes which included moving from Sale-West gym.
“After signing I changed from Sale-West Gym to Champs Camp in Moss Side where my new trainer said I was good enough to take it to the next level,” he said.
“I applied for my boxing licence which took ages because I have asthma and they have to do loads of tests, but finally I got it just before the New Year.”
Sam has now started his strict twice-a-day training schedule in order to get into top shape for March – where he hopes to compete in his first professional fight.
He’s hoping to recreate the feeling he had when he won his first fight, by being victorious in his first pro bout.
He told MM: “One of my proudest achievements was when I started off at Sale-West and I was a bit of a raw prospect.
“They saw something in me to throw me in the ring against a boxer who had already won three fights and had two knockouts.
“Luckily for me I knocked him out in the first round, which was a good start. I probably wouldn’t be here today without that experience.”
This was only the start for Sam who later went on to win an international tournament in Sweden.
“I won gold at a tournament in Sweden where I fought off competition from 12 lads including the Swedish champion branded as ‘the next big thing’.
“It was a massive event, people in Sweden love amateur boxing. There were a lot of fans there so I was a little bit nervous but I came out on top.”
As a boxer who is just starting to emerge from the youth ranks, Sam knows he still has it all to prove, but feels he is among a group of talented boxers coming out of Manchester.
“There are a lot of promising boxers coming out of Manchester – Ryan Doyle and Jimmy Kelly – are both quality fighters that both have their own style,” he said.
“I am just concentrating on myself, I will fight anyone. When I get my fitness to the right level I don’t think I will have a problem.”
Image courtesy of Sam Hyde, with thanks.