FIGHTER Michael Mooney says he is ready to put Worcester on the boxing map after entering the professional ranks for the first time.

The 27-year-old light-welterweight, originally from Ronkswood, has decided to leave his amateur days behind him and try and forge a career from the sport.

He has been signed up by Birmingham-based Prospects Boxing Academy and his first professional bout will be at the Second City’s HMV Institute on Saturday, June 29, promoted by It’s-A-Bout Boxing.

Although an opponent will not be announced until nearer the night, Mooney, who has honed his skills with both Worcester and Droitwich amateur boxing clubs, is ready for the challenge.

He said: “I have done well in the amateurs and I decided I wanted to go professional and put Worcester on the map for boxing.

“I am proud of being from Worcester and I want people to be proud of me. I want to get a good following in Worcester.”

Mooney, whose kit will be adorned with Worcestershire’s new flag, is also determined to make a success of his sport for his family.

He added: “I want to make a living from it. I have got a son, Byron, and I want to make his life better by making money for him.”

Since being granted his licence by the British Boxing Board of Control, he has been sparring with Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist Samson Sykes.

Trainer Mark Wall is putting Mooney through his paces six days a week and believes he has what it takes to become one of the best in the region.

“I honestly think he can go on to win area titles,” Wall said.

“That’s the target that we have set for him in the next 18 months to two years.

“I think he will be a force. He’s not going to be a Sugar Ray Leonard but he’s super-fit, and does cross-country running, and can take a punch.”