Hitchin police officer, 38, to make professional boxing debut

A POLICE officer is set to come out of retirement and make his professional boxing debut at the age of 38.

Paul Reading, from Hitchin, is to make his debut as a professional boxer tomorrow (Friday).

The father of three was a top ranked British amateur fighter in the 1990s, and crowned Home Counties Heavyweight Champion five times, but gave the discipline up in 2000 due to family commitments.

As an amateur, Paul, who is a police officer in the Met, trained at Hitchin Boxing Club on Walsworth Road.

After making the decision to turn pro, he has been training at Wayne Armstrong’s Boxing Gym, also in Hitchin, for the past 10 weeks.

“I’ve been boxing for 25 years and have carved out a respectable amateur record,” said Paul.

“But I made the decision that before I hang up my gloves, I will take one fight as a professional, just to say I’ve done it.”

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To turn professional, Paul had to apply for a licence through a professional boxing association.

In order to qualify for the licence, he had to undergo an adjudication by the British Boxing Board of Control, and successfully undergo a stringent medical and MRI scan.

He will now face Lithuania’s Rolandas Cesna at the Bedford Corn Exchange.

Gym owner Wayne believes that he will put up a good fight.

“Paul has dropped 22lbs over the last eight weeks – a testament to the fitness-boosting effects of boxing – and is very focused on the fight,” he said.

“His left jab has been like a ramrod in training and I think Cesna is in for a tough night.”

If you’d like to cheer on Paul during his big night, tickets for the show are still are available on 01462 457296.