Fresh MMA talent Andy Craven ready to make debut
TALENTED young MMA star Andy Craven will make his eagerly-awaited professional debut tomorrow.
The 22-year-old featherweight, who trains at the Fight Ministry, will take on Danny Welsh in the -66kg category at Doncaster Dome.
On the same card, fellow Ministry fighter Jack Grant will face seasoned ground specialist Chris Clarke.
Grant, who only made his professional bow last year, will be hoping for a repeat of his impressive display against journeyman Andy Cona.
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In the wake of James Bateman's surprise retirement, there is now a unique chance for both men to project themselves into the Grimsby limelight.
Ahead of the Doncaster event, Fight Ministry coach Neal Lofts said: "Both Andy and Jack are looking impressive in sparring.
"Their respective games have developed in all areas. I'm looking for them both to show evidence of that at the weekend.
"From a coaching perspective they are both exciting lads to work with. They have a thirst for knowledge and an ability to learn new skills quickly."
After a strong finish to 2012, where he triumphed at the All or Nothing prizefighter event in Leeds, Craven's swift progression from the amateur ranks was largely expected.
Lofts added: "Andy epitomises our team ethos – he is very well conditioned and has a strong fundamental wrestling base."
"I think the professional rules at 66kg will suit Andy. His striking on the ground is one of his strong points and the ability to use his elbows will be a major advantage for him.
"Jack has many strengths as well. He possesses genuine power and has a distinctive 76 inch reach.
"At six feet tall he will have a big range and power advantage over the majority of lightweights in the UK – that will certainly help."