From painter and decorator to pro boxer... Christchurch star realises boyhood dream

PAINTER and decorator Andy Greenbank realised his boyhood ambition this week... by agreeing a deal to become a professional boxer.

The 23-year-old, from Christchurch, has signed a contract with manager Jason McClory, who arranges sparring partners for a host of boxers including world heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.

Greenbank, who grew up in Basildon but moved to Fenland two years ago, said he was delighted to have realised his dream.

“You have to be tough to get by in Basildon,” he said. “I started sparring kids on the street when I was six years old!

“As soon as I realised I could make money boxing that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

“I’ve wanted to be a professional boxer for as long as I can remember.”

Greenbank is training five days a week with former professional Paul Goode, in Peterborough, who rates him as a good prospect with “nice skills and a solid punch”.

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The super-middleweight’s only previous ring experience was a draw in the Queensbury Boxing League in April but he comes from boxing stock. His grandfather was a regular in the ring and both his father and uncle were kickboxers.

McClory is trying to line up Greenbank’s debut and has contacted promoter Robert Waterman about securing a bout on his championship show at the East of England Showground in September.

Greenbank said: “I want to win belts. I’m not just fighting for money.

“I’m aiming high, but I don’t want to look too far ahead. I’m going to keep training hard and hopefully I will be ready to box in September.”