A NEWLY-TURNED professional boxer says the sport has changed his life as he prepares for his next fight.

Mikey Young, from Halliwell, first made his debut at the Bolton Whites Hotel just a month ago, where he drew against Yorkshireman Nabil Ahmed.

But he notched his first points win last month in Birmingham in a four-round bout and has a journey he is proud of with regards weight loss through training.

Going from 16 stone when he first started boxing to eight stone, seven pounds now, Young says he endured years of bullying before he joined Elite Boxing Gym 12 years ago and turned his life around.

Now, he is getting ready to fight on December 11, in Chepstow against Welshman Jordan Reece Jospeh.

And Young is hoping to get an early Christmas present with a win.

He said: “I’m boxing another lad on his debut in Wales, I’m feeling good for the next one.

“I got a bit of weight to drop off but will do it easy. I struggled in the amateurs I was always losing even though in good fights I gave it my all, but it was too fast-paced for me.

“But the pros are well more suited and I’m racking up wins now.

“I think longer rounds and more rounds is better for me, I can’t wait to get out there again.”

It has not been all smooth sailing for the super bantamweight, who lost a lot of weight before he turned pro this year.

He continued: “I used to eat loads of junk food working in a warehouse first and then as a welder, where I became a supervisor.

“I was just not going anywhere else, it was a dead end, I couldn’t go any further in my career.

“So, that’s when I found Alex (Matvienko, Elite Gym coach).

“A guy at work mentioned Elite to me because I said I couldn’t get motivated at the gym.”

Young turned up one day and was sick five times after only half an hour in training , but has progressed so much he now also coaches others at the gym.

He added: “Before I went, I felt I didn’t know what to expect because of the stereotypes that it’s full of intimidating men and you think you will get looked at.

“But as soon as I walked through the door, it was so welcoming.”

Soon after he started going regularly, the weight started falling off and Young started to see the difference.

He said: “I was only doing it to lose weight, I didn’t have an end goal like I do now.

“Boxing has changed my life both mentally and physically, and Elite has helped me become more confident.”