‘Gentleman John’ looks to emulate Smith and Saunders
Takeley Super-Middleweight giant John Hedges isn’t short on confidence ahead of his keenly anticipated professional debut on the undercard of Joshua Buatsi vs. Marko Calic on Sunday October 4, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
The elusive 6’ 5” southpaw, recently signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, meets Jan Ardon over four rounds on his introduction to the paid ranks following a glittering spell in the amateurs in which he won four National Titles and seven International Titles, amassing an impressive 40 wins from 44 fights.
Known as ‘Gentleman John’, the gifted 18-year-old prospect fights out of the Hoddesdon Boxing Academy in Hertfordshire under the guidance of his trainer Sab Leo, and now finds himself part of a Matchroom stable that boasts two undefeated 168lbs World Champions in Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders.
Essex native Hedges, also guided by Sam Jones of S-JAM Boxing, believes his flashy style is well-suited to the pro game and will help establish him as a fan favourite as he looks to become the latest traveller to make a name for themselves in the squared circle.
“It’s a big ‘un isn’t it!” said Hedges. “My first fight live on Sky Sports on a massive undercard, what more could you ask for? This is where I want to be, and I’ll start as I mean to go on. This is a big show and I hope it brings big things for me.
“I’m buzzing with everything at the moment. Seeing all of the publicity around my signing and my debut is amazing. I’ve got a great following and I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve been in the gym every day training hard so roll on October 4, we’re ready to go.
“Naturally you feel a bit of pressure. Being this young it’s all new to me. Any young fighter will say it’s natural pressure from being put on the big stage live on Sky Sports. I’m getting put in at the deep end and I think I’ll shine brighter because of it.
“Some people crumble under pressure but I believe this is the best way I could have gone about things, going straight in at the deep end and into the limelight. I want to be the best prospect in Britain. That’s my main aim for now.
“I honestly believe that I will become a World Champion one day. I will get to that level. I’m not in a rush. I’ve got to prove myself, and October 4 is the first step of my mission. I’m going to take things step-by-step. When the opportunities present themselves, I’m going to take them as quickly as I can.”
Hedges vs. Ardon is part of a big night of action topped by Croydon’s rising Light-Heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) defending his WBA International Title against undefeated Croat Marko Calic (11-0, 6 KOs), Chantelle Cameron (12-0, 7 KOs) land a World Title shot in her very first bout as a Matchroom fighter as she takes on Brazil’s Adriana Dos Santos Araujo (6-0, 1 KO) for the vacant WBC Super-Lightweight crown, ‘The Savage’ Alen Babic (4-0, 4 KOs) returns to the UK looking to impress again as he locks horns with Irishman Niall Kennedy (13-1-1, 8 KOs) in an eight round Heavyweight contest, Luton’s Linus Udofia (15-0, 7 KOs) puts his English Middleweight Title on the line for the first time against Dillian Whyte-backed Brixton man John Harding Jr (8-1-1, 2 KOs) and Aqib Fiaz (5-0) and Kane Baker (13-6) look to settle the score after their Fight Camp disappointment.