English title is just the start for Leeds boxer Jack Bateson

JACK BATESON says he has fulfilled his childhood ambition after winning his first title as a professional boxer.

The Leeds boxer won a wide unanimous points decision over Essex’s Ramez Mahmood to lift the English super-bantamweight title – his maiden belt in the paid ranks.

The 27-year-old started boxing at just 11 under the tutelage of his father Mark, with his trainer and promoter dad remaining in his corner for the victory over Mahmood.

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“It’s special,” said Bateson. “Everything I’ve worked for for all my life, it’s led to this.

“Me and my dad, we’ve worked together since I was a kid and we’ve dreamt of nights like this.

“To win my first title as a pro, fighting on my dad’s own card with [management company] MTK Global behind me, it’s special. I’m buzzing.”

Bateson enjoyed a strong start at the Elland Road Pavilion, displaying the sharp boxing skills that won him numerous medals as an amateur with Team GB.

“I felt comfortable,” he said of the first half of the fight. “I picked up the first few rounds and I feel like I pretty much won every round.

“There were times when it was tight but I never got caught with anything clean.”

In the third round though, Bateson was cut around the right eye and three rounds later his vision was further impaired with an even more gruesome gash near the left eye.

The cuts, combined with the illness Bateson had suffered heading into the fight, meant he had to produce a more dogged performance as the fight went into the latter half.

“I made it ugly at times, but I had to,” he explained. “I wasn’t 100 per cent in there and I had to pick the shots and then tie him up.

“Me at 100 per cent would have probably cruised through it.

“I’m not saying that I didn’t win comfortably because I did. But I didn’t cruise through it and I made it hard work at times.

“If I can do 10 rounds ill, it just shows how fit I am.”

Even though Bateson had a point deducted for punching after the call of break in the penultimate round, the Leeds fighter had done more than enough to take a convincing win on the cards.

One judge had him as a 99-90 winner, with two others scoring 97-92 in his favour.

Having had such a glittering career as an amateur, the undefeated champion, who has 15 wins from as many fights, is now confident of replicating similar achievements as a pro.

He insists that his capture of the English title is “just the beginning” and that he will bring more titles to Leeds. Before he can think about claiming more silverware though, he revealed he has more pressing immediate concerns.

Bateson said: “This week, I’ve got my little girl arriving with my fiancé at home, so I’ve got a lot to fight for now. This is my life and this is all I know. Without boxing, I’m nothing. That’s what made the night so special.

“I’m going to enjoy Christmas now with my fiancé and my little girl.

“And then next year, whether it’s defending the English or going on for more titles, good times are coming.”