Pro game suits Bradford boxer Darren Tetley to a T!

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: GOING THE DISTANCE: Darren Tetley prefers the longer fights in professional boxing to the shorter amateur format GOING THE DISTANCE: Darren Tetley prefers the longer fights in professional boxing to the shorter amateur format

If Darren Tetley wanted proof of the brutal world he was entering, it wasn’t long in coming.

Two seconds into his debut professional fight to be exact.

“His first shot caught me right on the chin,” laughed Tetley. “It was like ‘welcome to the pros!’”

A week on and the 20-year-old light-welterweight’s right ear is still ringing from another blow from a battle-hardened opponent who had the advantage in weight, age and plenty more experience.

But with that early wake-up call shaken off, Tetley went on to win all four rounds to ensure Kevin McCauley’s 76th outing in the ring ended in defeat.

For Tetley, from Holme Wood, it was justification for his decision in August to take the plunge and make boxing a career choice.

The light-welterweight had enjoyed a successful run as an amateur, winning the junior ABAEs and earning silver in the Commonwealth youth championships.

He had talked about staying on for a shot at the next Olympics but his decision was made after a narrow defeat in the ABAE senior championship quarter-finals – a bout he felt he had won.

Fed up with the subjective scoring systems, Tetley’s style was also more suited to the longer distance rather than the breathless nature of the two-minute amateur rounds.

He said: “I get more into a fight, the longer it goes on. My best shot is to the body which tends to slow people down but in the amateurs there’s not enough time for that.

“I found I was just starting to enjoy myself in the third round and then it would be over.”

Tetley trains under Mick Marsden in Rothwell, alongside the likes of former European champion John Murray. But he remains fiercely proud of his Bradford roots and the knowledge learned from the city’s Platinum amateur club.

“Boxing’s not a hobby any more. There’s no time for messing about.

“But luckily enough I have got some great people around me and I’m so grateful to my old amateur coaches Dave and Rob Nelson. I can’t explain how much they helped me.

“I’m just a lad from Holme Wood trying to do the best for myself.

“I jog down the road and get cars beeping.

“I sold 59 tickets for Sheffield at two weeks’ notice. It’s really good that people are behind me.”

Tetley, who dedicated the first win to his late cousin Tracy Crosby, is not going to get carried away. Unlike many boxers, he insists that is not in his nature.

“I’m not an arrogant person,” he added. “I’ve always been down to earth and that’s not going to change.

“I’ve had one pro fight so I can’t really sit here saying I’m going to beat X, Y and Z and become a world champion.

“Maybe I’ll have to get a mouth on me now!

“But I don’t believe in all that calling people out.

“I’ll take it a step at a time. I’m still learning and I’m sure that will never stop.

“I’ve got time on my side and if I get my first belt, I’ll be happy.”

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