'Win would be a dream come true'
AN Area title victory for Grimsby's Kevin Hooper would be a "dream come true" for his coach, Sean Wood.
The trainer, pictured below, who runs Grimsby Pro-Am Boxing, in Ainslee Street, has guided Hooper to British and International Masters lightweight title wins since the boxer's professional debut in 2009.
On Friday, the unbeaten Grimsby man goes for Midlands Area honours at the Beachcomber, in Humberston.
If he wins, he will be the first local boxer to win an Area title on home soil since Stuart Fleet won the Midlands light-heavyweight belt in April 1997.
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"The Midlands Area has always been the plan of attack for us," said Wood.
"When Kev turned pro there were a few people that said it wasn't a good idea. All he had to go on was my say so – there was no other pros around in Grimsby at the time – but we went for it.
"This is where we see the benefits of the experience Kev got from fighting journeyman and going the distance – winning on points, rather than stopping them early and learning nothing.
"He's capable but he's only human.
"It's a 50-50 fight and Kev is stepping up for the challenge.
"Whatever happens, Kev has represented the town really well.
"He is great to work with. He doesn't brag.
"I've never had to worry he thinks he's something he isn't.
"He's very humble and let's his fighting do the talking.
"He's earned his popularity by what he's achieved in the ring, not by saying what he's going to do.
"It's great to be going for an Area title on home soil – and the fight being an English eliminator adds an extra buzz.
"If he wins this title, it's a dream come true."
The boxing starts at 8pm on Friday. Call Sean Wood on 07525 752497 for tickets.
Wood also says talks have taken place with a view for another boxer at Grimsby Pro-Am to turn pro next year.