Training at two gyms has given me extra help ahead of pro debut, says King’s Lynn boxer Garrod

Charlie Garrod at the Kickstop Gym in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Charlie Garrod at the Kickstop Gym in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

Rookie Charlie Garrod believes having two mentors has given him a better chance of making his step up to the professional circuit a successful one.

The King's Lynn light heavyweight has trained under Mel Payne from the age of seven but signed with Norwich-based supremo Graham Everett earlier this year. However, the boxer hasn't forgotten his roots because he has still continued to visit his lifelong mentor at Heros Gym for extra tuition ahead of his pro debut next week.

Garrod said: 'Apart from when I had some time off from boxing when I was younger, I've always trained under Mel. But when I got back into it he introduced me to Graham and it's been great and he's helped me come on a lot.

'I've had the best of both worlds since. Graham's shown me a lot of stuff and I've been bringing it back to Mel in the week who has been saying I've come on and has helped me some more. He's always been there supporting me.

'Amateur boxing is in and out and bouncing about and I didn't realise how different it was to being a professional. For the first couple of weeks I found it difficult. But now I'm ready, relaxed, I feel great and I can't wait to get in the ring as a pro for the first time.'

The 22-year-old has been sparring with a host of big names including Anthony Ogogo at Norwich's Kickstop Gym ahead of his big bout on Saturday, November 23. And after already meeting his required weight of 12st 10lb, and going toe-to-toe with pros during his training, Garrod feels he is ready for his bow at the city's Epic Studios.

'If I've been in there with lads like Anthony and Sam Sexton it should make things a bit easier,' said the ace from West Norfolk.

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'I've held my own with them, I feel, and they've given me all of their pointers. It's only going to have helped me. I'm really excited now although I'm sure on the night there will be some nerves. But having them will help keep me sharp and on my toes. For now, I'm definitely more excited than I am nervous.'

Garrod hopes 60 to 70 fans will be making the trip up the A47 to cheer him on next week. And he admits their support will be invaluable – just like the type he has received from his father Paul and girlfriend Stevi has been.

'I work for my dad and he owns a groundworks firm,' said the boxer who is yet to find out who is opponent will be.

'He's helped me out with letting me have time off work and with gym stuff. And Stevi is a boxer too. She trains with me in Lynn and Norwich and is great motivation for me.'

Tickets are available by calling Heros on 01553 761474 or Garrod himself on 07436019636.

- Click on the related link to read more from Charlie Garrod.