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Branch excited to make pro debut at The O2

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 June 2018

James Branch will make his pro debut at The O2 on Saturday (pic: Frank Warren PR)

James Branch will make his pro debut at The O2 on Saturday (pic: Frank Warren PR)

Archant

Light heavyweight feature on undercard of bill headlined by WBC silver middleweight title fight between Martin Murray and Roberto Garcia

Multi-titled amateur James Branch is looking forward to making his paid debut at the London O2 Arena on Saturday, driven by the dream of lifting the professional titles that eluded his father.

The younger Branch has waited to make his pro start on Saturday’s big Frank Warren promotion that features a powerful line-up of Newham-based fighters, including Anthony Yarde, Ohara Davies, Daniel Dubois and Harvey Horn.

Both Branch and his father, James Sr., were outstanding amateurs at the Repton club in Bethnal Green.

The older Branch looked set to shine on the world stage when he turned pro with Warren in the 1990s, but retired after just four paid starts.

“I’ve got to finish off the job dad started,’ said the 22-year-old southpaw who lifted seven All-England amateur titles, including the 2017 Senior ABA cruiserweight crown.

“Dad was one of the best amateurs of his generation, a nine-time national junior champion.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him as a pro, so now I aim to earn the paid success that never came his way.”

Branch has settled at Canning Town’s Peacock gym and is trained by Martin Bowers, who also guides unbeaten heavyweight prospect Dubois.

‘Triple D’ has seven straight pro wins, all blasted in three rounds or less, but will step up to face Tom Little in their English heavyweight title battle on Saturday’s bill.

Another 10-round title clash sees the explosive Davies take on Paul Kamanga for the WBC international super-lightweight championship, with both men having a single defeat on impressive records.

Two titles are at stake when Peacock gym-based Yarde clashes with Poland’s Dariusz Sek for the WBO European and Inter-Continental light-heavyweight belts, with the Londoner looking to extend his unbeaten record.

Flyweight Horn looks for his third straight pro win when he meets Gyula Dodu in a four-rounder on a bill headlined by Martin Murray against Roberto Garcia for the WBC silver middleweight title.

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