‘Pocket Rocket’ Sam goes pro with Gates

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Mal Gates is convinced that he has another potential success story on his hands after signing “The Pocket Rocket.”

South Shields boxer Sam Menzies has shed the vest and joined the professional ranks at Gates’s Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare gym.

The camp already boasts top operators in Anthony Nelson, Lee Mould, Tom Whitfield and Paul Gidney, whose combined record is an impressive 26 wins and only three defeats.

And Menzies has followed the path of ex-Commonwealth champ Nella, having joined from Horsley Hill, where he had more than 40 amateur bouts.

“I am delighted Sam has chosen to turn professional with me,” said Gates.

“He has fitted in brilliantly with the rest of the lads, has a great attitude and picks things up really quickly.

“Since coming to the gym, he really has improved so much due to his dedication and willingness to learn.

“Sam used to come and spar regularly with Nella and always gave a good account of himself. His style is more suited to the pro game.

“Having boxed as a lightweight in the amateurs, he will box initially as a featherweight as a professional.

“I am really looking forward to watching him develop.”

Gates will ensure Menzies, dubbed “The Pocket Rocket”, will walk before he can run, though, looking at his progress so far, he’s done plenty of running ... and punching.

“He is only 20, so we have plenty time to do things right and progress Sam at the right pace,” added coach Gates.

“We have been working a lot on his fitness and shedding some of his muscle mass, while maintaining and improving his strength.

“He has a lot of natural ability, a good boxing brain and great movement in the ring.

“His busy aggressive style has earned him the nickname of the Pocket Rocket.”

Gates added: “Having passed the Boxing Board Assessment, we are now looking towards his pro debut and are seeking sponsorship to move him to the next stage.

“Any sponsors would get their company advertised on training clothing as well as fight kit.”

Anyone interested in supporting Menzies is asked to contact Mal on 07510 320981.