'One of the best feelings of my life' - Ipswich boxer Warne wins pro debut
- Credit: Steve Goodwin/Jordan Warne
New Suffolk boxing prospect Jordan Warne says having his hand raised on his professional debut was a dream come true.
Backed by more than 200 supporters and top of the bill at the iconic York Hall in Bethnal Green, Ipswich super-middleweight talent Warne saw off the challenge of 20-fight veteran Robbie Chapman via unanimous decision over four rounds.
The win was the culmination of quite the journey for the Ipswich Town fan, who had ten amateur fights at a good level as a youngster before drifting away from the sport as 'life got in the way.'
Back training under Rob Hodgins at the Suffolk Punch gym - home of fellow unbeaten Ipswich pros Fabio Wardley and Ryan Copland - Warne was originally due to make his professional debut in March 2020, but then the coronavirus pandemic struck.
"I can't really put it into words," said the 29-year-old of his debut. "It was one of the best feelings of my life.
"To finally get it done was such a relief. For me it was the end of a lifetime of regret and resentment at myself, because boxing was always what I wanted to do."
He laughed: "Well, actually, I wanted to play for Ipswich Town - but I wasn't good enough!"
Of the fight, he added: "Robbie's fought for the Southern Area title and been in with some really good guys, so we knew it was going to be tough.
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"It wasn't my best performance, but I thought I did really well - I was catching him with some good shots. I think the nerves and the crowd really got me going, so now it's about learning to control that and picking my shots better next time.
"I think I've got a good ring IQ - I'm a boxer, but I like to mix it up as well.
"I couldn't have had a better debut, boxing last and having such an electric crowd. I've always wanted to box at the York Hall ever since I was a kid, so that's something ticked off too."
Warne was roared on by hundreds of fans who made the trip from Suffolk, many of them fellow Ipswich supporters, with the balcony at the York Hall bedecked with Town flags.
It was an impressive following for a pro debut, with Warne wearing the blue and white of his beloved club into the ring. There has long been a link between boxers and football clubs - the likes of Ricky Hatton and Josh Warrington boasting huge Manchester City and Leeds United backing at all their fights.
"Ricky Hatton was my idol growing up," said the former Orwell High pupil. "For me to have Ipswich fans following me is great - I'm a big fanboy myself!
"We had Toto Nsiala come to the gym once and that was amazing - he was an absolute monster!"
Warne will be hoping that a similar following back him next time he fights, which looks set to be back at York Hall on June 18.
So, how far can he go in the sport?
"My dream would be to win a British title," he explained. "I'm just going to take it as far as I can go and really push myself.
"I think that I can go a long way, as my confidence grows."
Stable-mate Wardley has often spoken of his dream of fighting at Portman Road - and, with the English heavyweight champ making serious waves in the sport, plus Copland and Warne unbeaten in the paid ranks, it's a goal which now seems realistic.
Unsurprisingly, Warne shares Wardley's vision.
"Fighting at Portman Road would literally be the dream," he enthused. "In fact, if that happens, I may as well quit - I don't know how I'd top that!"