I was ringside to see 22 year old amateur stand out “Gorgeous” Georgie Kean making his pro debut last Saturday. The Islington fighter impressed fans and ring observers alike in a dominant 4 round decision over opponent Rick Boulter, earning raptures of applause from the packed out crowd at the Copper Box.
Kean had his man down in the fourth round and badly hurt with a beautifully placed straight right hand lead, but Boulter managed to survive by holding on for dear life- seeing out the 4th and final round. Displaying tremendous footwork throughout, turning his opponent on several occasions, Kean showed us a glimpse his development under famed trainer Jim McDonald.
The decision was a formality, with the journeyman in survival mode the entire fight after tasting Kean’s power in the 1st. “Gorgeous” Georgie showed his appreciation for the fans support as the scorecard of 40-35 was announced.
I caught up with the 22 year old budding starlet, prior to his debut at the press conference last Thursday. In an exclusive interview, Kean spoke to me on his future ring plans, and gave a revealing insight into what he hopes to achieve during his professional career:
Bradley Pearson:For anybody that hasn't seen you fight, how would you describe your style in the ring?
Georgie Kean: Well, my idol is Ricky Hatton. I try to implement a similar style- adding my own instincts in there. I'm not trying to copy any fighter. You'll see plenty of body shots, angles and head movement.
Bradley Pearson:Havingseen some of your amateur contests, I know you're a naturally aggressive, come-forward fighter like Ricky...
Georgie Kean: Of course. Since being with Jim [McDonald]we've worked on tightening up my defence a lot. I like to come forward and be aggressive, but obviously get hit as little as possible.
Bradley Pearson: I read somewhere your amateur record was 58 fights with just 8 losses. Obviously training with Jimmy Mac, and doing a bit of sparring with James DeGale down in Loughton, do you think that will give you the edge over other British-level fighters in and around your weight class?
Georgie Kean: Definitely. The department it's helped me in a lot also is physiologically. To be able to spar an Olympic champion- and soon to be world champion, there's no better thing for a fighter coming up. Also listening to the advice James [DeGale] gives me. How to approach the game, that sort of thing. He's a lot wiser obviously as he's been in my position before and look where he is now.
Bradley Pearson: I know you fought at 67kg in the amateurs, but looking at your physique, you look pretty big for a welterweight. Can you see yourself fighting in multiple weight classes in the future?
Georgie Kean:Yeah, I mean they made this fight at light middle. I wouldn't need to make the welterweight limit until a title fight presented itself- depending on my development of course.
Bradley Pearson:So you made weight easy?
Georgie Kean:Yes, very easy. It's been falling off me during training camp. I was just under the limit last Saturday.
Bradley Pearson:Obviously being used to the ABA routine in the amateurs must help, where you're required to make weight consecutively for about 2 months straight...
Georgie Kean: Yeah, definitely. It was hard...after fighting 7 times and having to make weight every week. I needed a break! It's the name of the game though and we all know that's the schedule going into it.
Bradley Pearson:Ultimate career goal?
Georgie Kean: As a fighter your legacy is always judged on how many titles you win. Look at Pacquiao, Mayweather, winning titles in multiple weight classes. We would all love to do that. But for me, like Ricky Hatton, my main goal first and foremost is to be a real people's champion. A fan's favourite.
Bradley Pearson: Well, you're half way there if you've sold 700 tickets for your pro debut!
Georgie Kean: Exactly. It really does mean a lot to me. I'm so humbled that people want to spend their hard earned cash to see me fight.
Bradley Pearson:What's the plan then for the rest of the calender year?
Georgie Kean:Frank's told me every 8 weeks. As everyone knows they got a 6 fight contract at the Copper Box. I'd like to get out there and perform as much as possible, because a busy fighter is a better fighter.
Bradley Pearson:Speaking of the Copper Box, it must be an honour to have your pro debut at such a prestigious arena, after the Olympic games.
Georgie Kean:Certainly. It's a historic show, the first one there since the Olympics. To even be here at the press conference, sitting here on the table with so many great fighters and the British belt and the WBO belt within touching difference...I was in awe thinking to myself, one day I want them to be mine.
Georgie Kean was officially the biggest ticket seller on the entire card on Saturday, single handedly attracting over 700 tickets. An amazing turnout for a professional debut. With his crowd pleasing style, humble manner and insane popularity- Kean certainly looks destined for a bright future.