From the building site to world ambitions

Josh Pritchard with Barry McGuigan
Josh Pritchard with Barry McGuigan
  • Six months ago Pritchard was working on a building site
  • Tonight he has his second pro fight after being signed by Barry McGuigan
  • Boxing legend has tipped Purbrook talent to fight for world title
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SIX months ago he was working as a plumber.

Tonight Josh Pritchard will step into the ring for his second professional contest with the endorsement of boxing legend, Barry McGuigan, ringing in his ears.

I won’t get too big for my boots. I’m just a working class lad.

Josh Pritchard

McGuigan has tipped the emerging Purbrook featherweight to fight for world honours after signing him to his CWM Cyclone stable.

Pritchard, billed as the Punisher, makes the next move on his professional journey tonight against Slovakian Elemir Rafael in London.

That’s after an impressive debut win over Hungarian Aron Szilagyi on stablemate Carl Frampton’s world title defence in Belfast in February.

The former Moneyfields man’s hurtling progress has left the 20-year-old pinching himself as he spars with the likes of Frampton and American legend Shane Mosley.

Pritchard, who has also worked as a building site groundworker, is taking the elevation in his stride, however.

And the former Pubrook Park School student fully intends to lift up to his lofty billing - while not forgetting where he has come from.

Pritchard said: ‘It’s mad what has happened to me. Mad.

‘I’m mixing with a current world champion and a great team.

‘I’m sparring with Shane Mosley. It’s crazy.

‘I’ve got a great trainer in Shane McGuigan. He’s boxed and been around boxing his whole life. He has a great understanding of the game.

‘Last year I was still working.

‘After school I went and did a plumbing course at college.

‘I couldn’t get a job straightway so I did some groundworking for a year and then plumbing for a bit.

‘So this is the first time I’ve boxed full time.

‘I was still working in December!

‘I won’t get too big for my boots, though. I’m just a working class lad.

‘I’ll always be that.’

Pritchard is in a hurry to make a name for himself in his division after moving over from the amateur code.

He enjoyed a fine career as a junior, making a whopping six national finals, winning the Haringey Cup and picking up an England vest.

A national title eluded him, however, and Pritchard is now in a hurry to collect honours as a pro.

That means staying busy as he learns his trade, and the 1-0 man is keen for his home city to follow him on his journey.

Pritchard said: ‘Portsmouth is a strong boxing city and I want everyone behind me.

‘The local lads are doing a great job. They put on the shows and there is a great turnout.

‘I would really love to get Portsmouth up and down the country as well, though. I’ve already had great support and there are people following me to London.

‘The featherweight division is wide open.

‘There are some good calibre names and good fighters. But it’s an open division. I can see myself right up there pushing to the top.

‘I won’t call anyone out. I’m going to get my head down, work hard in the gym and see where we get to.

‘I’m hoping to get right to the very top. I’ve got the right team to push me in the right direction.

‘Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m fighting for titles.’