'That's more like it' roars Takeley's John Hedges after comfortable win in pro fight number two
- Credit: DAVE THOMPSON/MATCHROOM BOXING
John Hedges believes he is firmly back on track after a much-improved victory over Croatia's Stanko Jermelic.
Opening the night with his second professional fight, a card that was headlined by Connor Benn's demolition of Samuel Vargas, the Takeley light-heavyweight made light work work of his opponent, claiming all four rounds.
And after the difficult baptism he endured on his pro debut, the 18-year-old now has his eyes firmly fixed on climbing to the top of the bill.
“I’m so happy," he said. "I needed that after the start I had. After that debut I didn’t feel like I deserved to be on TV this time. This is what I needed to move forward.
"People must look at me and think I’m a bit of a fleshy light-heavyweight. That’s just the body type I have. I feel so much better at this weight.
"I feel strong and I’m only going to get better as the journey continues.
"That still wasn’t my best, but it was an improvement from last time. I’ll be ready to go again next time with an even better performance.
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"Nobody is going to remember these first few fights. I’m hoping to be like Conor Benn and headlining my own shows in the future."
Benn's win came inside the first three minutes and means one thing according to the Essex-based 'Destroyer' - "I ain't a prospect no more".
The WBA continental welterweight title was never in danger of changing hands as Benn moved to an 18-0 record, 12 of them coming from knockouts.
And he already knows who he wants next.
The 24-year-old said: ""Give me Amir Khan. I know he's too busy on reality TV. If he wants it, he can have it. I can deal with pressure. I can cope with it. I can live with it, no problem.
"I'm ready for the top dogs - Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner? Forget the word prospect, I ain’t a prospect no more.
“I train hard for [this]. Again, you’re talking levels. It shows the level I’m at.
"[Vargas] was telling me he was ready to fight, and he was talking a good game. He said I had no power. It’s irrelevant because a lot of people can talk. My shots were landing flush. You could tell they were hurting him. When I first hit him it landed swiftly and I thought, ‘right, this is going to be a much quicker night than I thought’.
"I’ve been working on my power with my strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence. We’ve been working endless hours. First to arrive last to leave. He’s always pushing me.
"I told you lot I’d knock him out in the first round. I was cool, calm and collected. I work so hard."
Elsewhere on the card Shannon Courtney claimed the vacant WBA bantamweight world crown with a unanimous decision over Australia's Ebanie Bridges.
It was a punishing battle but Courtenay said it was when she got out of the slugfest and started boxing that the victory was hers.
She said: "I feel like my jab won me the fight to be honest.
"My conditioning, my attrition, all of the hard work. My two coaches Charlie and H kill me on a daily basis. They kill me in the gym. I hate them for it, but it bloody paid off. My nice jab, my fitness and my conditioning won me that fight.
"She was tougher than I thought she’d be but I knew if I stuck to my boxing I’d win. When I was getting into a war it was stupid of me. The jab won me the fight."