May 24 2013 Latest news:
By Chris Lennon, Reporter
Saturday, May 26, 2012
A POLICE officer won his first – and most likely last – professional boxing match.
Paul Reading, a former Potters Bar neighbourhood officer, fought Lithuania’s Rolandas Cesna at the Bedford Corn Exchange last Friday night.
After four tough rounds he secured a points victory by the narrowest of margins – a single point.
Afterwards the 38-year-old described his first experience in the professional ranks as a “baptism of fire”.
“I have a lot of respect for Cesna,” Paul said. “He was very fit, very tough and very awkward to fight.”
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.”
Having fulfilled his ambition, Paul has no plans for a second fight – and is instead considering becoming a coach for young amateur fighters.
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 had been training at Wayne Armstrong’s Boxing Gym, in Hitchin.