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Matchroom Boxing star John Hedges training alongside WBO world super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders to 'reach next level' in professional career

John Hedges is excited to be training alongside a world champion as he prepares for the second fight of his professional career.

The Takeley super-middleweight is taking on a yet-to-be-announced opponent on the undercard of the Conor Benn versus Samuel Vargas WBA continental welterweight title fight on Saturday April 10, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Hedges, who turns 19 the day after the bout, beat Manchester-based Czech Jan Ardon on points when he made his bow in the pro ranks in October.

John Hedges on his way to victory over Jan Ardon on his professional debut. Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
John Hedges on his way to victory over Jan Ardon on his professional debut. Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

And the 6ft 5in southpaw is aiming to really up his game after a switch from Hoddesdon Boxing Academy to Mark Tibbs' coaching stable which means he gets to learn from undisputed WBO world super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.

"Billy Joe fights at the same weight as myself and I'm able to train alongside him six days a week doing sparring, running etc," said Hedges. "This is going to bring my ability to the next level.

"I've left my former coach Sab Leo [at Hoddesdon] on good terms as I look to develop my professional career even further.

"I'm unaware who I'm going to fight in my next match-up, but, the way I feel in training currently, whoever they put in front of me I'm confident that I'll have more than enough ability to beat them."

Hedges, who has also had a spell at Bishop's Stortford Amateur Boxing Club, signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing in June.

And he is enjoying making a name for himself on the pro stage, even during a global pandemic.

"I'm loving the professional journey at the moment," said Hedges, who went to Forest Hall School in Stansted. "I'm one of a few fighters under the world's No 1 boxing promoter and it feels surreal to have Eddie Hearn guiding my career forward.

"I'm one of his youngest signings and he's looking after me incredibly well, giving me the best opportunities to perform on the biggest stage possible."

After his 39-37 points win over late replacement Ardon in the autumn, Hedges said there was more to come from him.

And the talented teenager is looking to build on that against his next opponent, who should be announced in late February/early March.

"There is definitely more to come as I wasn't able to shine as much as I would have liked on my professional debut due to the late change of opponent and not being able to prepare for who I was fighting," said Hedges.

"However, we got the win and that was all that mattered for me against a tough operator in Jan Ardon who, going into the fight, had picked up a couple of good wins over decent opposition."

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