Little’s having it large in Wigan

Adam Little winning the North West Region Association Belt at Bolton Reebok stadium
Adam Little winning the North West Region Association Belt at Bolton Reebok stadium
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KIRKHAM boxer Adam Little is to make his long-awaited professional debut at Wigan next month – to end weeks of frustration.

Little, who left the amateur ranks to try his hand in the professional ranks, should have made his debut already, but a medical hiccup put paid to that.

The British Boxing Board Of Control spotted on his medical records that the young welterweight had suffered from asthma at the age of three, which delayed Little’s licence being ratified.

He and his family and supporters stumped up £200 for a private medical report, which gave him the all-clear.

Now Little is in full training for his first contest in the paid ranks – that will be at the Robin Park arena on March 26.

Coincidentally, he will be on the same bill as unbeaten Blackpool cruiserweight Matty Askin.

The top of the bill on the Sky-televised show features Denton Vassell, the Manchester bank worker, who will defend his Commonwealth welterweight title against Bethuel Ushona.

Joe Pennington, Little’s mentor at the Northside amateur club, will continue to manage and train him, while Little will be promoted by the Ricky Hatton organisation.

You certainly could not decry the quality of sparring partner with whom Little has been sharing a ring in run-up to next month’s Wigan date, among them Scot Ricky Burns.

He may campaign at super-feather and therefore give weight away, but Burns is the world champion of the WBO organisation and one of the best fighters in this country.

One of Little’s biggest supporters will miss his pro debut.

Grandfather Dave Dickinson has followed Adam all around as an amateur, but he is off on a pre-planned cruise the day before the Wigan promotion.

It is something of a step into the unknown at Robin Park for bill-topper Vassell, as his Namibian opponent has yet to be beaten in his pro career.

Hatton Promotions have a busy time of it in the coming weeks, though plans for a show in Blackpool at the Winter Gardens have gone quiet. The Hattons will co-promote the biggest fight seen in the United Kingdom so far this year when Amir Khan defends his WBA world light-welter title against Paul McCloskey at the MEN Arena on April 16.

Another boxer to get the all-clear to fight again is Jeff Thomas.

Ring-rust rather than any first night nerves may be the problem for the St Annes boxer.

Thomas will have his first contest since 2006 at Colne Municipal Hall on March 4.

His licence came through after a visit to a Central Area council meeting in South Yorkshire.

Thomas said: “I had to make a 120-mile drive to Rotherham for a hearing that lasted eight minutes!

“But it all went well, and there was no problem with my licence.

“They talked about my fights and what I had been doing since the last time I boxed and were very happy with everything.”

Thomas has fought for championships before, but this bout in Colne will be small-hall with no particular top-of-the-bill.

He has already secured sponsorship, with backing from local companies. Quilligans and Nutri-Centre.

Meantime, Chorley boxer Michael Jennings has warned his welterweight rivals – including Kell Brook – that he’s a new man.

Former world title challenger Jennings fights in an eliminator for the British title on March 12 in Scotland at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow.

He takes on Edinburgh’s Gary MacMillan in what could be an explosive clash.

And Jennings believes that his rivals shouldn’t write him off.

“I’m in my 30s, but I don’t think there is a boxer in Britain who is in as good a shape as I am,” Jennings. “I was gutted to lose to Kell Brook on a cut at a time when I thought that I was just coming into the fight.”