THE EARLY CAREER path of exceptional light heavyweight talent Karol Itauma has yet to encounter a single bump and the Olympic Youth gold medallist has enjoyed extensive TV exposure, plenty of plaudits and the adulation of his ever-increasing support.
It begs the question as to why, following his five straight victories to date, he never looks particularly happy about it?
“Yeah, Francis (manager, Warren) says it to me all the time!” said the Chatham-based 21-year-old, acknowledging that his pearly whites should be on display following success in the ring.
“He is like ‘you’ve gotta smile, you’ve gotta smile’. So I need to get better at smiling! I don’t believe it is a reflection of how I feel because inside I am happy. Training camps are hard so the boxing is the part I enjoy.
“So I am going to bring my teeth out a little bit more.
“Of course I am happy and it is a part I have got to improve on – and I will.”
Meanwhile, another Itauma – his brother Enriko – is just a matter of a year away from breaking into the professional ranks following a highly productive grounding in the amateur code.
It is fair to say Karol is enthused over the prospect of expanding the family business.
“I am very, very, very excited. Me, my coach and the people around us know how good he is and it is just a matter of time before everyone else will too.
“So I am really excited about his journey. We will be working alongside each other, we are under the same coach, the same S&C coach, so we will be under the same roof.”
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, 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