THE little boy inside Robin Van Persie engineered his summer move to Manchester United whilst the one inside Danny Mitchell has encouraged him into the boxing ring.
Mitchell, aged 26, has won Mixed Martisal Arts titles in Britain and in Europe but wanted to give boxing a go before he was too old.
The Thorne fighter, who will debut as a light-heavyweight against Bristol’s Nick Gigg on Saturday September 21 at the Barnsley Metrodome, has been told by Lindholme trainer Danny Oliver that he is capable of making the transition.
“With Danny moving up here it was a perfect opportunity to give it a go,” explained Mitchell.
“He thinks I’m ready to give it a go as a professional and I’ve always done boxing training alongside MMA anyway.
“We’ll see how it goes. It’s one of those things that I didn’t want to regret never having a go at.
“As a boy aged seven I wanted to be a boxer but my mum and dad wouldn’t let me! So I ended up doing the traditional martial arts like taekwondo and karate before finding MMA.”
There are stark differences between the two sports but Mitchell, who has no amateur boxing experience, is hoping that he’ll adapt well and cites current Central Area champion Jason Ball as a good example to follow.
“I’ve known Jason a long time and he’s become a better fighter fight on fight and I want to do the same,” he said.
“I’m not saying I’m going to become a world champion or anything like that but a Central Area or British Masters title would do me.
“Light-heavyweight is hardly a packed division so you could go on a good run and you never know. I’ve got a chance of doing alright. I’m tough and I know I can take a punch already.
“It’s good to get a fight locally and I’d like to fight at the Doncaster Dome too. I had an MMA fight there and sold 200 tickets. The atmosphere was mental and I’d like to experience that again.”