FOR YOUNG LIGHT heavyweight sensation Karol Itauma everything is going to plan with his professional experience to date and future plans are already mapped out in writing.
The 21-year-old from Chatham has clocked up five impressive victories since turning pro off the back of a gold medal at the Youth Olympics and he is clear in his mind just where he is heading – and it involves plenty more hardware in the form of world championship belts.
Karol returns to the ring at York Hall on March 11 in support of Chris Bourke bidding to win the British super bantamweight title against Marc Leach and he describes himself as largely content with the direction his career is currently heading in, which has seen him become a small screen regular on BT Sport.
“I’ve had five fights – all on TV – and I’ve been very active,” Karol told Dev Sahni on the Unibet Lowdown. “So I have had the opportunities considering the situation we’ve been in where many boxers have been unable to box, so it would be very ungrateful if I said I wasn’t happy.
“I am happy with the way things are going and always focusing on what is in front of me. The next one is the most important fight. Me and my team always have our eye on the ball and are always training.”
Just in case he ever forgets or deviates from where he is heading, Karol reveals his ambitions are jotted down by his bedside and even pinned to the wall. The word ‘undisputed’ is a personal favourite.
“It is actually a little notebook! It is funny, I have got British title written in there and all the major world titles. I have printed it out and have it up on a pinboard so every day I see it as my goal and what I am working towards.
“It is about becoming familiar with what is waiting for me because, at the end of the day, a ship with no destination ain’t gonna get anywhere. I believe this is one of the things that separates me from other boxers.
“Visualisation is a whole other subject, but I also believe in this too.”
One thing he does visualise and is as certain as he can be about is the impact he anticipates his younger brother Riko making in the sport. Riko is a 17-year-old amateur heavyweight strongly tipped for stardom and Karol reports the pair are firmly on the same wavelength.
“My relationship with Riko I would call competitive, but it is also a crazy relationship. We understand each other, we get along well, he trusts me, I trust him and, in my opinion, he is the only person who can know how I really feel.
“He is my brother by blood, but he also gets in the ring as well as an amateur and will as a pro when the time is right.
“I know how far he can go and he will shock the world when he gets the opportunity to because he has been shocking us since he started boxing, at the age of 13 dropping grown men.
“Now it is just a matter of time before he explodes onto the scene and everyone knows about him.”
Chris Bourke (10-0) takes on Marc Leach (17-1-1) for the vacant British super bantamweight title at York Hall on March 11, live on BT Sport.
The card also features exciting super featherweight Frank Arnold (8-0-1), Olympic Youth gold medallist Karol Itauma (5-0) in light heavyweight action, unbeaten Irish super lightweight Willo Hayden (2-0) and super welterweight Josh Frankham (4-0). Super featherweight Jamie Chamberlain (3-0) has his first fight under the Queensberry banner, with Jake Henty (1-0 super welterweight) and Aloys Junior (0-1 cruiserweight) both having their second professional fights. Cruiserweight Arnold Obodai will make his professional debut.
Tickets for the show at York Hall on Friday, March 11 are on sale now, available directly from the fighters or via eventbrite.co.uk or call: 01992 505 550 (office hours).
£55 (Floor/Balcony unreserved)
£65 (Floor/Balcony reserved) – SOLD OUT
£105 (Ringside) – SOLD OUT