FIGHTING TALK: Chorley boxer Jack Catterall’s first exclusive column

It was a big decision for me to make the leap from amateur to professional four years ago, but I’d say to any young fighter wanting to make the next stop that it won’t be easy –nothing in life worth having is – but the key is to just go for it and give it your all, not just in a fight but day-in-day out.

I’d also urge them to have a good network, reach out for it, never give up and just give it your everything.

When I made the step, I was 19 and studying at Preston’s College at the time, and boxing amateur and spending a lot of time in Manchester.

A lot of the other fighters my age were turning professional, and I was in a bit of a dilemma.

I didn’t know whether to make the switch, but I didn’t want to have any regrets when I’m older, and so I took the plunge and now I’m 23, with 17 unbeaten fights under my belt and I haven’t looked back since.

It takes sacrifices, but you get used to it and the egg whites! In the end the rewards are worth it, and when you have the fight afterwards, you know everything you missed out on in the build up was all worth it.

I’m undefeated in 17 professional fights, god willing I can keep it up, it is a good record to have but I just want to keep achieving and keep winning.

The division I fight in is quite a healthy one – Terrance Crawford is number one in the division and I’m ranked number two, so my aim is to be the best.

Martin Gethin is next up. I never look any further than the next fight, and all of my energy is focused on April 8 and the defence of my WBO Inter-Continental Super-Lightweight title at the Manchester Arena.

There is a lot of work to do ahead of a fight, a lot of aching muscles, blood, sweat and long hours!

My typical day is two-three training sessions a day, six days a week and that is all across the board from bag work, strength work, yoga, a variety and even when you get home you have to stay on it and focused.

Sometimes people don’t expect you to do stuff like yoga as a pro boxer but it helps!

The boxing community is massive and I have been lucky to come across a lot of nice people. Haroon Hedley has been a big help. He was my assistant coach for four years but is now my coach and he is great, a trainer is like a father figure and he gives me valuable advice.

I’m still living in Chorley and training in Manchester and I’m just in the process of opening my own gym in Trafford.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @jack_catt93. Tickets for the Martin Gethin fight are available from 07413 361313. Jack is sponsored by Achill Brewery.