Franklin Ignatius and Ibrahim Nadim will be hoping to impress on their professional debuts on Thursday’s JD NXTGEN show at York Hall topped by the vacant British Cruiserweight title clash between unbeaten contenders Richard Riakporhe and Jack Massey, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Ignatius, a former London ABA Champion and Harringey Box Cup winner, will make his debut at Heavyweight after representing the renowned Repton Boxing Club during a short 20-fight amateur career.
Managed by Charlie Sims, the 24-year-old from Dagenham is excited by the thriving Heavyweight landscape and feels that now is the perfect time for him to throw his hat into the mix.
“It’s the right time for me to turn pro,” said Ignatius. “My mum passed away this year and she told me it was the right time for me to turn pro before she passed. She knew my coach very well and she was always at my fights supporting me. I’ve got a very supportive family.
“The Heavyweight scene is very interesting right now and I feel like it’s the right time for me to come in there and make some noise. I’m a student of the game and I love the sport. I love Larry Holmes’ jab but at the same time I’m a big fan of the way Ezzard Charles boxed. My favourite fighter of all time has to be James Toney, he was a big inspiration to me.”
Former Bury ABC fighter Ibrahim Nadim will make his professional debut in a four round Super-Bantamweight contest after signing with British fight legend and former two-weight World Champion Ricky Hatton earlier this year.
The 20-year-old from Keighley in Bradford, West Yorkshire is hoping to emulate ‘The Hitman’ in the paid code after a successful spell as an amateur that saw him win a number of titles.
“I wanted to turn pro and I’d seen Ricky working with other prospects and he looked really good on the pads,” said Nadim. “I reached out to Ricky and his team and we’ve been working with each other for a few months now.
“As an amateur I won three national titles, schoolboys, youths and then the seniors. I won a senior GB title as well. My favourite fighter growing up was Amir Khan and I’m a big fan of Lomachenko and Crawford now.”
Speaking earlier this year on Nadim, Hatton said: “I don’t want to put any pressure on such a young man’s shoulders. It is very very early days. He punches very well. He fights up close.”
Main event sees unbeaten Londoner Richard Riakporhe (10-0, 8 KOs) clash with Derbyshire’s undefeated Jack Massey (16-0, 8 KOs) for the vacant British Cruiserweight title, Crystal Palace Light-Heavyweight Craig Richards (15-1, 8 KOs) returns after his win over Andre Sterling in June, Luther Clay (12-1, 5 KOs) defends his WBO Global Welterweight title against Freddy Kiwitt (17-2, 10 KOs), Northampton’s Kieron Conway (13-1-1, 3 KOs) meets Dublin’s Craig O’Brien (11-1, 1 KO) in a 10 round Super-Welterweight contest, Watford Bantamweight Shannon Courtenay (4-0, 1 KO) looks to end the year in style, Sheffield Lightweight Donte Dixon aims to go 2-0 and Light-Heavyweight Malik Kareem makes his pro debut.