Pro debut looms as Chichester boxer is tipped for big things

Wee Billy Lavelle is looking forward to his pro debut
Wee Billy Lavelle is looking forward to his pro debut

Chichester boxer Billy Valentine Lavelle makes his professional debut at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green on June 4.

The St Gerards Boxing Club ace’s bout will be part of a show entitled Search and Destroy, a 12-fight promotion including two title fights being run by the youngest female promoter in the country.

Olivia Goodwin is the daughter of Steve Goodwin and is doing an excellent job raising the profile of the night and Valentine.

Boxing at lightweight, he will probably weigh 9st 11lb on the day but his opponent will be over 10st at welterweight thanks to an agreement between the managers. That opponent will be Sid Razak from Birmingham, a journeyman with more than 70 fights behind him and a former English super-featherweight champion.

It’s a big test for ‘Wee Billy’ as he is known but dad Gerry Lavelle, from St Gerards, said: “He will persevere under adversity as he’s the real deal and doesn’t take any prisoners, eating, sleeping and living boxing 24/7.

“We know it won’t be easy but have been working to a definitive plan of action as Team Lavelle. If you don’t believe, you don’t achieve in this very hard and arduous sport.

“We wholly believe Billy has the tools to go all the way as a pugilistic performer of the highest standards.”

St Gerards strength and conditioning coach Ash Sutherland said: “Wee Billy amazes me on a daily basis with his extreme fitness levels. The more I push him the more he gives back. He is a unique athlete on all levels who would succeed at any given sport.”

Coaches Jon Mills, Gareth Ferguson and Big Billy Lavelle are all part of Team Lavelle and play a vital part in getting Lavelle primed and perfect for his first outing as a pro.

Mills said: “The pleasure I get from seeing this young man grow in the pro boxing world is immense. He is a pleasure to work with.” Coach Billy Lavelle said: “He is a true Lavelle through and through.

“His grandfather Charlie will be looking down from heaven.”

The club hope for plenty of local support for Lavelle at York Hall. Tickets are £35 from 01243 786661, on glavelle46@aol.com or by calling at St Gerards at 46 Swanfield Drive, Chichester, PO19 6GH on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6pm and 8pm.

Lavelle jnr thanked gym owner Peter Cox and manager Charlie Martin, also a professional boxing coach, at the VK Gym in Bognor, for their help and support. The gym in Durban Road, Bognor, is open seven days a week and has state-of-the-art facilities for all forms of boxing.