PROFESSIONAL boxer Luke Evans is about to embark on a new chapter of an eventful journey in the sport.
The 25-year-old welterweight from Hattersley will have a first fight in September with new trainer Matthew Hatton in his corner.
Luke, who has won his first 10 pro bouts, believes Matthew, a former European champion, can help elevate him to the next level.
He said: “Matthew has been in the ring with some of the best fighters including Canelo Alvarez who is today regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
“When Matthew says he thinks there is a big title in me, that is a huge confidence boost. And he likes the way I box, telling me he has never seen anyone with my type of style.”
Luke will be fighting at Whites Hotel, part of Bolton Wanderers’ ground on Sunday, September 12 against an opponent yet to be confirmed.
He admitted it will be a case of easing his way back into action because his last fight was in December 2019 not long before Covid-19 struck.
Luke said: “During the pandemic it has been hard to be active.
“The idea will be to get rid of ring rust in this bout and then hopefully fight again in November and then in 2022 be ready for a first title fight and one which is on television.”
And because of the Hatton family connection, Luke has been training and sparring with Campbell Hatton, Matthew’s nephew and son of former world champion Ricky.
Luke continued: “Big things are expected of Campbell so to work alongside him and push each other on is great.
“Campbell has already been on some big shows, and I also want to get on to big platforms and fight for titles.”
Luke admitted he is living the dream as a professional boxer having taken up the sport aged 10. He is stay-at-home dad to two-year-old daughter Sienna as his partner Stacey recently was a founder of Remembrance Community Funeral Services, the first undertakers on Hattersley.
He first stepped into the ring at Irlam Boxing Academy and had 42 bouts as an amateur, winning 27 before turning pro in 2015 with Gary Booth, from Irlam Boxing Academy, training him initially.
Luke then had a brief stint at Ricky Hatton’s gym in Hyde where he was trained by Blaine Younis before teaming up with Matthew.
He said: “Blaine had other commitments as a personal trainer which made it hard for him to continue.
“Matthew invited me to a trial day at his gym in Stockport and we gelled from the start.”
• Luke’s dream of boxing glory could easily have come to an end in 2017 when he was brutally beaten, stabbed and left for dead following an unprovoked attack outside a McDonald’s takeaway in Salford.
Luke, who admitted he thought he was going to die, was scarred for his life after needing dozens of stitches and plastic surgery after his cheek, forehead and arm were slashed.
There were fears the head wounds would make a return to the ring impossible but he admitted he was lucky to have ‘good healing skin’.
Luke was kept out of boxing for 12 months following the attack for which a 17-year-old boy was jailed for four-and-a-half years after wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Two others teenagers walked free from court with two-year community rehabilitation orders after admitting violent disorder.