Leeds boxer Jack Bateson sees 2022 as time to build on England crown and climb world rankings

After claiming his first professional title this year, Leeds super bantamweight Jack Bateson has set his sights on ascending the world rankings.

By Ben McKenna
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 6:00 am
Jack Bateson: Can look himself in the mirror after claiming first title. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe Picture)
Jack Bateson: Can look himself in the mirror after claiming first title. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe Picture)

The 27-year-old collected the English title with a dominant points win over Ramez Mahmood at the Leeds United Banqueting Suite last month.

That victory moved his professional record to 15-0 and was his first experience of going 10 rounds.

Bateson hopes to be fighting for bigger titles within 12 months and has backed his management, MTK Global, to get him the contests he needs to start moving towards an eventual world-title shot.

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Leeds boxer Jack Bateson (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“In the next 12 months, I want to be picking up more titles and getting myself ranked with these world organisations,” said Bateson as he assessed what 2022 might hold in store for him.

“It would be lovely to finish next year with the British title. I am English champion now so that should put me on the doorstep of the British and Commonwealth titles.

“I am with the best in the business in MTK Global. With me being 15-0 and being quite experienced, they will be expecting me to push on and pick up more titles.”

He continued: “I will have to defend the English belt a few times but I do want to be in the big, meaningful fights now.

Jack Bateson in action this year

“I have done all my learning fights now and I am ready to get let off the leash. I don’t want to go backwards now.”

Bateson had to be patient for his shot at a first professional title after injury and the Covid-19 pandemic put his ambitions on hold.

Then, in the week leading up to his title win, he became ill.

The Leeds fighter was determined to not let his chance of being champion of England slip by.

When asked what it was like to finally win his first belt, he said: “It feels good, it has felt like a long time coming. With me being due to fight for the English title around two years ago, it feels like ages.

“With the pandemic and everything, it is good to have it now.

“Hopefully, I can start pushing on. The camp I had was really good, it was one of the best camps I have had.

“I felt really good going into the fight-week, I started to feel a bit unwell and I was thinking ‘surely I can’t get ill?!’

“I woke up and was really bunged up. I was sneezing and I was panicking as I was the main event and there was no way I could pull out.

“I had done all this training and there was a lot of pressure on myself.

“I was pretty confident I could win, even if I had to make it messy, which I had to do at times. Luckily I got through the 10 rounds and I am grateful I got the job done.

“I have picked up the experience of going 10 rounds but I was ill so next time it should feel like a breeze.”

Bateson was in Great Britain squads during his amateur career and admitted it was hard seeing his old team-mates who had turned professional enjoy success early on in the paid ranks.

“My Dad always said he never wanted me to rush,” he added. “I was looking at these title fights a couple of years ago but the fighter always wants to rush.

“It was good of my Dad to slow me down and let me learn the pro game.

“The English title is quite a meaningful title. There are a lot of Mickey Mouse belts out there but the English title is certainly not one of them.

“It is nice to say I am the champion of England and this time next year I would like to say I am the champion of something bigger.

“I wanted to rush at the start because I saw some of my old GB team-mates winning titles in their sixth or seventh fights.

“I wondered why I wasn’t there but my Dad would always tell me to focus on myself and the opportunities would come and they are starting to come now.”

Bateson was on the undercard for fellow Leeds boxer Josh Warrington’s rematch against Mauricio Lara at Headingley in September, as he beat Felix Garcia via a points decision.

“Hopefully, I will be headlining there one day,” he said.

If he keeps his head down, and his gloves up, it might take a special opponent to stop him.