Alex Bodnar has embraced the lifestyle ahead of his professional debut.
That is the verdict of Gareth Johnson, as the featherweight prepares to make his bow in the paid ranks at Battle Arena 54 tomorrow.
Bodnar, who trains at Fratton’s Gym 01, meets Mathieu James – also having his first pro bout – at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Arena.
Both impressed as amateurs and an exciting fight is on the cards.
Bodnar ended his amateur career with a 6-2 record – although Johnson wasn’t totally impressed during that period.
After his losing his Shock N Awe featherweight title to Alex Box in March 2017, Gym 01’s head coach was forced to have a frank conversation with University of Portsmouth graduate.
Bodnar has responded superbly to the instructions given to him, though, and has knuckled down in training.
Now Johnson feels his charge is ready for his maiden pro contest.
He said: ‘Alex has always been a tough amateur but consistency in the gym has been a bit of an issue with work and things.
‘That’s why he’s just needed to develop and progress.
‘He got very complacent at one point, after three finishes in three fights.
‘Alex defended his Shock N Awe featherweight title and lost to Alex Box.
‘It was at that point there were some real visible holes in his game and was told unless they improve then he’s not going to progress.
‘He’s really knuckled down and has been training a lot with the likes of Gwyn Barry, Cameron Hardy and Kye Stevens.
‘Alex has really levelled up and spent the past year or 18 months getting in phenomenal shape.
‘I’m not on about lifting weights but he’s slimmed right down, carrying himself well and has the physique to match now.
‘Before I just think he was lazy and didn’t really put the work in if I was honest!
‘He’d turn up, do the session, not really drill the technique and go home.
‘But now he’s doing double sessions and following our work ethic.
‘If he wants to be a pro you’ve got to act like one and he’s embraced that, which is so nice to see.’