Sheffield boxing career starts at 32 for builder Chris

Ryan Rhodes and Chris Dutton

Ryan Rhodes and Chris Dutton

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Builder Chris Dutton is packing in work to chase his dream of becoming a professional boxer - at the age of 32.

The Gleadless Townend light heavyweight has had no amateur career although he’s boxed 14 unlicensed bouts.

But a sparring session with Johnny Nelson persuaded him to have a go at the professional ranks.

“My sister bought me a one-to-one training session with Johnny and he encouraged me to give it a try. When an ex world champion tells you that, you don’t think twice.

“I don’t want to be sat in a boozer when I am 50 and telling everybody I was good enough to be a boxer, I want to prove it now.

“Ovill McKenzie fights and he is 36...it’s not like the old days now, with all the nutritional information and technology available fighters stay on longer.

“I have three kids (Charley, 13, Max, four, and Ronnie, one) and I want them to be proud of me.”

Dutton used to box with Richmond’s Tom Bradley - who was killed in a motorbike accident in June 2011 - at Bradley’s Tough Guise gym on Hicks Street.

The tragedy hit Dutton hard. But he started to train at gyms owned by Glyn Rhodes and Clinton Woods before going to Ryan Rhodes’ base, where he has now signed on pro terms.

Killamarsh-born six-footer Dutton -who also carries out DJ work at weekends - said: “I have lost three stones and am completely focused on making a success of this. I am putting my heart and soul into it.

“I saw Darren Snow boxing on the David Haye undercard last weekend and thought: ‘I beat him in unlicensed boxing!’”

Dutton says he has an exciting style of boxing.

“I am good to watch and I hope that will attract people to buy tickets to support me.”

He expects to make his debut on a Dennis Hobson show at Magna Centre, Rotherham on April 2.