Big buzz for St Ives Boxing Academy supremo as brothers get set for battle

Goodjohn brothers Tyler (left) and Liam (right) with St Ives Boxing Academy supremo Steve Whitwell.

Goodjohn brothers Tyler (left) and Liam (right) with St Ives Boxing Academy supremo Steve Whitwell. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

St Ives Boxing Academy chief Steve Whitwell can’t wait to see his boxing brothers go into battle.

Liam Goodjohn.

Liam Goodjohn. - Credit: Archant

Whitwell is now plotting the careers of former English champion Tyler Goodjohn (24) and his older sibling Liam (29), who makes his professional debut tomorrow night.

Liam, who enjoyed an extensive amateur career, takes on Lithaunian opponent Silvije Kebet in a welterweight bout at the York Hall in London. The Wentworth man’s entry into the paid ranks has been delayed after he twice suffered a collapsed lung in the past three years.

He underwent surgery on the second occasion earlier this year, but he is now in top shape as he prepares to step through the ropes and Whitwell is hopeful of a winning start.

He said: “Liam is the most level-headed lad I’ve ever had in the gym.

“He works full-time as a mechanic, but boxing is something he wants to do and I’m hoping he can be successful.

“His height at 6ft is almost freakish for a welterweight and we have to make sure he uses that and his reach to his advantage.

Tyler Goodjohn.

Tyler Goodjohn. - Credit: Archant

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“Tyler is known as an exciting fighter who will happily have a tear-up with anyone, and Liam has tried to copy that style a bit too much for my liking.

“I’m looking for a nice, polished performance on Saturday night and we’ll then take things from there.

“He’s got a good chin and could go a fair way.”

Younger brother Tyler is already a big name on the British boxing scene after being involved in some memorable battles during a 15-fight career to date.

He tasted victory in 11 of those contests, but has been out of the ring since losing a WBC Intercontinental Super-Lightweight title thriller against John Wayne Hibbert back in January.

He has started training at St Ives Boxing Academy in the time since that defeat and also now resides in the town.

He will step up a division to welterweight for his return early next month and Whitwell is excited by the prospect.

He added: “Tyler lost his love for the game, but he is back enjoying it again now.

“He has been involved in a lot of big, tough fights for someone of his age and we are going to bring him back steadily.

“It might take us a year to get back to the level he was at before, but I believe he can be around for years to come if we do it the right way.

“He was having to lose stupid amounts of weight at light-welterweight so we’ve stepped up to welterweight and his sparring has been very impressive.

“We’ve worked hard on his boxing skills rather than just steaming in and being wild, and he has really come on.

“He trains like an absolute demon and I think people will be trying to avoid him like the plague at welterweight.

“Tyler and Liam are like chalk and cheese when it comes to boxing and their personalities, but they are very close and hopefully they can have some exciting times ahead.”