LUKE Paddock says he had to battle emotions, along with opponent Matt Seawright, before recording his first professional win.
The Priory Park-trained light-welterweight made the perfect start to his career in the paid ranks with a 40-37 points win over Telford-based Seawright at Wolverhampton Civic Hall last Friday.
But despite the confident nature of his performance, “Cool Hand” Luke admits he was nothing like his nickname.
He said: “The feeling was indescribable.
“Just before I was due to walk out to the ring I was full of emotion, I mean on the verge of tears.
“I just kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’. It was like every boy’s dream.”
Paddock, who represented England during an impressive amateur career, described the atmosphere in the hall as “like a dinosaur.”
He added: “It sounds an odd thing to say but when I was stood on the other side of the curtain and I could hear crowd, it sounded like a dinosaur.
“I can’t thank the people who came out to support me enough.”
The 21-year-old was pleased with his opponent against wily veteran Seawright, adding: “I just outboxed him to be fair, a lot of the time he just wanted to hold.
“When I boxed him I just outpunched him. My skill shone through.”
Paddock is the fourth Priory fighter to turn professional and the next two are not far away.
Light-welterweight Lance Brooks is returning the sport more than two-and-a-half years after making his only professional appearance, while Ryan Corrigan had his final bout as an amateur at the club’s own show last Sunday.
Priory head coach Paul Gough said: “Ryan has been with us for a few years and won a national title as a junior. He has a good pedigree.
“We are building a decent stable at the minute. There is a real buzz around the place.”
One Dudley fighter not celebrating is Dean Anderson, who failed in his attempt to claim the British Masters super-bantamweight crown on Saturday.
The 25-year-old retired in the eighth round of his contest with home fighter Gavin McDonnell at the Doncaster Dome.