Unbeaten Leeds boxer Jack Bateson sets his sights on title shot

LEEDS BOXER Jack Bateson wants to start fighting for titles after taking his professional record to 13-0 last weekend.

STEPPING UP: Leeds boxer Jack Bateson throws a left shot at Joe Ham during his victory at the Bolton Stadium last weekend. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images.

The 26-year-old overcame the toughest test of his career with a points win over Joe Ham to maintain his unbeaten record.

Scotland-born Ham had only lost two of his 18 pro bouts prior to his loss to Bateson and had been involved in title contests within the last couple of years.

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Bateson feels it is time he starts to compete for belts after recording his 13th pro victory in Bolton.

HARD FOUGHT: Jack Bateson, right, celebrates his points victory over Joe Ham. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images.

“I have had 13 fights now, a couple of eight rounders, I feel like I am ready to take that step towards a title,” he said.

“It would be lovely to have a title fight in Leeds with crowds coming back towards the end of summer. It would be great to pick up my first title with the Leeds crowd cheering me on.

“There are that many titles out there at the minute, I don’t mind too much.

“I am seeing these fighters pick up these titles and it does get me a little bit jealous.

“I am just waiting for my opportunity now. I feel a win like last weekend means I have proved myself.

“Hopefully the title shot will come now and I can have something to put around my waist.”

Bateson is no stranger to big nights under the lights. He fought on the undercard when Josh Warrington won the IBF featherweight title against Lee Selby at Elland Road and was on the bill at the First Direct Arena when Warrington defended his belt against Kid Galahad.

Bateson revealed that Warrington had contacted him before last weekend’s win, continuing: “He sent me a really good message before the fight.

“I just want to thank him for that because it really did help and motivated me.

“Not many people know what it is like to be coming through, there is a lot of pressure.

“He had to deal with all of that and he has passed on a lot of advice over the years. I look forward to hopefully being on one of his next cards in the near future.”

Bateson feels the victory over Ham was a “step up” to previous bouts, with the Scotsman boasting the strongest CV of the 13 men the Leeds boxer has beaten.

He added: “It was a tough fight and a great test for me at this stage in my career.

“I am happy to get the win and it is another box ticked.

“He had a really good amateur background.

“We were both on the GB squads together, so I knew it would be a tough test.

“He had lost a couple of fights against two good fighters.

“It was a great step up for me and hopefully now I can be looking at titles with a win like that.”

Bateson will now enjoy some time off after staying active for the last 12 months despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing proving disruptive to boxing and other sports across the world.

Bateson was able to fight in September last year, after waiting 12 months to return to action. He was always keen to stay sharp in case a call came with an offer for a fight.

“I am lucky and blessed I have been able to fight during these times because some people haven’t been able to, ” he said.

“We are seeing a bit of light at the end of the tunnel now.

“I have been training throughout the whole pandemic. I haven’t had more than a couple of days off just incase the phone rings.

“So, I am going to have a good bit of time off now.”