HE was in action for less than a quarter of his scheduled night’s work but last weekend Jack Flatley achieved one of his first targets as a professional.
The Farnworth fighter extended his perfect professional record to four when he knocked out Valentin Stoychev at the Friday The 13th event at the Macron Stadium, his first stoppage.
The 21-year-old, who fights out of Alex Matvienko’s Elite Boxing gym in Halliwell, gave himself an early finish when he put down the Bulgarian veteran, ending the contest six seconds before the end of the first round.
«It all went to plan,» said Flatley, who had been scheduled to fight four rounds. «I was training with Alex to get my body shots up, it wasn’t a body shot that stopped him, but they wore him down and allowed me to get in the head shot that ended it.
«I hadn’t had a knockout before so I wanted that, especially with it being in front of my home crowd. I want to get people watching me, get them talking about me and get in the picture for the bigger fights.
«I was prepared to go for four rounds, I always have good sparring sessions, I can do six with Luke (Blackledge, Flatley’s stablemate who was also a winner on Friday) any day of the week.»
After his first two professional victories at Manchester Arena, and a third win at Wigan’s Robin Park, it was a pleasure for Flatley to come home. And as his career progresses the Wanderers fan has set his sights on regular visits to his favourite team’s headquarters.
«I loved fighting at the Macron – it felt really familiar, like a home from home,» he added. «I’d love to fight there regularly. I used to go there a lot when I was younger, I haven’t been for a while though.
«I’ll just have a few days off now then get back working in the gym, I’m looking at maybe having another fight in the middle of July. I have heard a few names mentioned but it’s too early for anything to have been sorted out. With my first few fights I only found out a few weeks before anyway, so that’s when we’ll look to tailor my training ahead of the fight.
«We found out I would be fighting Stoychev and Alex knew he had been hit and hurt by body shots before, he knew we would need to work on them and it worked.
«Luke is a big help as well, we train together and spar regularly and he’s always giving me good advice. I’m sad to say I missed most of his fight, I had to go to the toilet while he was on – I just got back in time to see him win though.»
Ill-timed toilet breaks aside, things are progressing well for Flatley, with a perfect record and a bright future ahead of him. There is, however, one thing he has yet to settle on – a fear-inducing nickname.
«They want to call me the Giant Killer,» he said. «A few people have started using that but I don’t like that at all, but I don’t have anything else yet so I’m open to suggestions before it sticks.»