Sheffield-based prospect and eight times Yorkshire champion joins the professional boxing ranks under Adam Etches

Adam Etches, who retired from boxing at 26, is back in the sport a year later - and is planning to guide an exciting middleweight prospect to the top.

Etches is now a boxing trainer and manager and is supervising the career of eight times Yorkshire amateur champion Shakiel Thompson.

Thompson is a 6ft 2ins southpaw and hoping to make his debut in the pro ranks.

"I am more excited now that I was when I was boxing myself," said Etches, once known as the Birley Bomber, now living in Coal Aston.

"I believe he is going to be the next big thing.

"He can do everything. He can box, he can fight, he's strong, he is tricky, and above everything else, he listens."

Etches and Thompson in Coal Aston

Etches and Thompson in Coal Aston

Thompson, who works during the day as an advertising executive for Johnston Press at The Star's HQ, is turning professional after 54 fights (43 wins.)

Nicknamed Doctor Steel, the fighter lives five minutes away from the Ingle gym in Wincobank but is trained by Roger Sampson at the Manor Boxing Academy.

He has won eight Yorkshire titles at 54k, 90l, 69k, and 75k.

Thompson said: "It is a new step in my career, I am very excited, I can't wait for the journey."

Shakiel Thompson signs with Adam Etches

Shakiel Thompson signs with Adam Etches

A fan of Sugar Ray Leonard, Billy Joe Saunders and Roy Jones Jr, Thompson hopes to make his debut in October.

He said he was targeting future titles while trying to improve his growing fan base.

Etches said: "He is a tall rangy southpaw more of a smart fighter than a brawler.

"He has been beating good amateur kids with ease.

"We just have to keep his feet on the ground and do things right."

Etches, a one time IBF International middleweight title holder, said he had an enduring passion despite his own fight career ending with a defeat to John Ryder in February last year.

He said he had "bad hands, bad eyes" so it was now time to pass the torch to younger fighters.

Etches said he had fought at a "decent level" and said he would be ensuring some of the pitfalls he had himself suffered would not get in Thompson's way.

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