Bolton teenager Sam Lane is proof a boxing club can change the life of a young person with poor habits and no goals, according to his coach Alex Matvienko at the Elite Boxing Club, also known as Halliwell ABC.

Lane only started boxing in his late teens but has come far in a short space of time and now has dreams of turning professional.

“I started boxing through a community project which targeted troubled youths,” explained Lane who lives with his family in Bolton and who turns 18 later in the year.

“I was seriously overweight and did no sports, but in the past two years I have lost 40 kilos and now work at the gym as an apprentice which I absolutely love.

“I train intensively every weekday in the morning with the professional fighters and do sprints on Sundays.

“My record is six wins out of 10 fights in just eight months of competing.

“Boxing has turned my life around and the highlight so far was the immense pride I felt when getting my hand raised as winner by a unanimous decision on an away show.

“My ambition now is to be a professional boxer, say at 21, and I trust my coach Alex absolutely to guide me in this.

“By the end of 2024, I’d love to have won at the national youth championships.”

Lane would love to emulate the boxing career of Joe Calzaghe or Nigel Benn - two boxers he looked up to as a youngster.

He said: “He [Calzaghe] was busy, relentless, could fight aggressively and always worked hard.

“Nigel Benn was also relentless and an inspiration. Both could box anyone successfully.”

A big football fan as well, Lane supports his home-town Wanderers but rarely gets time to go these days.

He added: “ I also love following Bolton Wanderers which can be just as stressful as the boxing.

“But I don’t have time off as I’m usually at amateur shows supporting team-mates or coaching younger boxers.”

Like all Elite boxers, Lane is grateful to sponsors to back his dreams including Gary Smeaton, of Arlec Property Services Ltd, in Salford, and Alan Marshall’s APM Association Ltd, based in Swinton.

He added: “I’d also like to give a special mention to Bernie and Nick Flaherty, from Bolton Youth Justice, for sponsoring my fight T-shirts.

“I’d like to thank the coaches at Elite Boxing for their daily advice and support. There is no place I’d rather be.”

The admiration is two-way as well, with coach Matvienko full of praise for his young charge.

He said: “Sam has got the attitude and work ethic that will help him succeed. He’s first in the gym and last out.

“Surrounded by professional boxers like Mickey Ellison and Taiwo Eshepo and top amateurs like Yousif Saeed and Cindy Ngamba he has excellent role models to train with, and Sam himself is an inspiration for our young boxers.”

n Any new potential sponsors who would like to aid Lane’s boxing journey can contact him by email or on Instagram @samlane_06.