A POLICE officer is to come out of boxing retirement and make his professional debut at the age of 38.
Paul Reading, a former Potters Bar neighbourhood officer, will face Lithuania’s Rolandas Cesna at the Bedford Corn Exchange.
The father-of-three was a top ranked British amateur fighter in the 1990s, and crowned Home Counties Heavyweight Champion five times, but gave the sport up in 2000 due to family commitments.
Paul, who joined the Met Police in 2009 after five years patrolling the beat in Potters Bar, said: “I’ve been boxing for 25 years and have carved out a respectable amateur record.
“But I made the decision that before I hang up my gloves, I will take one fight as a professional, just to say I’ve done it.”
To turn professional, Paul had to apply for a licence through a professional boxing association.
In order to qualify for the licence, he had to undergo an adjudication by the British Boxing Board of Control, and successfully undergo a stringent medical and MRI scan.
Having made the decision to turn pro, he was been training at Wayne Armstrong’s Boxing Gym, in Hitchin, for the past 10 weeks.
Gym owner Wayne believes that he will put up a good fight.
“Paul has dropped 22lbs over the last eight weeks – a testament to the fitness-boosting effects of boxing – and is very focused on the fight,” he said.
“His left jab has been like a ramrod in training and I think Cesna is in for a tough night.”