PROFESSIONAL boxing returns to Worcester next month after a 25-year absence.

BCB Promotions will host the first pro show in the city since January 17, 1995, when local hero Paul Busby outpointed Warren Stowe to claim the WBO inter-continental middleweight title.

A host of home favourites are to feature at Perdiswell Leisure Centre on Sunday, April 12, with promising newcomer Owen Cooper leading the way.

Cooper had his first amateur bout at Perdiswell and lost to Craig Franklin on points.

But it is his only defeat there having been back on multiple occasions since with notable amateur scalps over the likes of Billy Revell and Kayden Connolly.

Those verdicts were two of 17 victories over fellow national champions with Cooper claiming England youth honours in 2018.

The 19-year-old finished his amateur career with 32 wins from 41 contests before turning pro last year where he has already racked up two points successes.

Cooper’s four-round pro bow saw him overcome Paul Cummings, who was taller and heavier, without dropping a round in a 40-37 points result.

He did even better in his second outing against Alexander Anderson, registering a 40-36 points whitewash having been in total command.

Next up is his maiden six-rounder at a relatively early point in his pro journey and in his own backyard with title fights in Worcester a longer-term dream.

Cooper is coached by Malcolm Melvin who challenged for major domestic prizes himself as a pro.

He may even make super lightweight to become a contender.

Three more products of Worcester City Amateur Boxing Club appear elsewhere on the card with Adam Harper, Michael Mooney and debutant Ameen Khalid in action.

Harper, of Tewkesbury, is a former Midlands and English super lightweight champion and Commonwealth title challenger.

He is back after a 19-month absence and short-lived retirement having never lost the national crown in the ring.

Mooney will make a rare appearance in the home corner after journeyman status on the road where he’s heading towards becoming a centurion.

The super lightweight, 34, has nine wins on his record including a TKO over Sam O’Maison who later won the English title.

Khalid, 23, boxed at lightweight in the amateur ranks where he claimed area spoils.

Completing the line-up is Redditch's Andrew Robinson who continues to wait for a shot at the British middleweight crown.

The former Midlands and IBO continental title winner, 34, remains the mandatory challenger to Liam Williams as decreed by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Waiting for Williams has contributed to seventh months out of the ring so Robinson’s 30th pro outing will come in Worcester.

He has 24 victories with seven TKOs.

His finest hour came in Poland last year when he handed a first defeat on a points splits decision to Damian Jonak who was still unbeaten after 42 pro affairs.

Tickets for the Worcester show are on sale now via the boxers or the BCB box office on 07493 582261.