Secret is out as Sunderland MMA fighter turned boxing pro Jake Bonallie wins at 02
Jake Bonallie wanted to make a quiet, modest entrance into the world of professional boxing '“ but a stunning debut success means the secret is out!
The 28-year-old clinched victory against Liverpool’s Craig Glover on the opening bout at the David Haye v Tony Bellew undercard in London.
Glover had started as favourite at the O2 – he was unbeaten and placed in the home corner.
But Bonallie, back in the sqaure ring after a three-year absence, went to work on the Scouser, landing some heavy, eye-catching shots en-route to a 39-38 points verdict from referee, Bob Williams.
“I didn’t want to make a big song and dance about my pro debut,” said the former Sunderland ABC crowd favourite. “It’s not really my style but my missus and dad then got in touch with the Echo!
“I’m really happy with the win on Saturday night and to do it on such a massive show and the reaction of people up here since has been very nice.
“I must admit I’d like to have stopped him but I couldn’t land the shot to get him.
“I thought I was a bit sloppy at times, I missed with a few punches, but I’m happy with the win and know there is more to come.”
Bonallie is a born fighter – whatever the ring. He knew his way around the amateur scene with Sunderland ABC and was a Tyne, Tees & Wear belt holder before moving into MMA.
But the lure of turning pro brought him back into contact with the Marquess of Queensberry rules.
“I always wanted to be a pro and have always dreamed of being a champion,” he said. “My family and partner knew how passionate I was about it.
“After fighting in the amateurs I could probably have gone pro earlier but I went into MMA for a couple of years and the job I had meant I could not train as much as I’d need to.
“But it got to the point where I thought ‘if you don’t do it you’ll end up regretting it later’ so I decided to go for it and I’m trained by Mick Duncan, who is a very good coach.
“I’m hoping after Saturday there will be lots of opportunities and I’d love to fight up here.
“With the 02 show a sell-out I only got a few tickets so I’d like the chance for people to watch me – North-East fight fans are brilliant so a bout here would be great.”