CANVEY cage fighter Mike Hales has more reason than most not to get hit during his bouts.
For when he is not training or taking on opponents in the ring, the 18-year-old works as a model.
And he was therefore delighted not to get hurt during his impressive professional debut against Linas Mesitavicius at the David Lloyd gym in Southend on Saturday night.
“I guess I do get a little bit worried about getting marks, but I just make sure I don’t get hit,” said the former Castle View School pupil.
“I didn’t have one scratch on me after the fight at the weekend and I was really pleased about that because it was my professional debut.
“It also showed that I’m a good technical fighter too, but I should probably have knocked him out.
“However, I’m just happy that I won and that I didn’t get hurt either.”
Hales dominated all three rounds against his more experienced opponent.
And he was delighted to prove his doubters wrong.
“Because I look quite young and my opponent was quite a bit older I had a few people telling me I was going to lose,” said Hales.
“I was getting a bit of stick and was being told I looked more like Miley Cyrus than a fighter.
“But I was always confident that wasn’t going to happen because of the work I had with my coach Dan Burzotta who has really helped me, along with everyone else at the TSG fight club in Southend.”
Hales, who won the Echo’s model search competition back in 2011, will now continue to train six days a week in preparation for his next fight which has yet to be confirmed.
But the youngster will combine that with his modelling duties.
“I used to have a modelling contract and now I can drive I’m looking at getting back into it all again,” said Hales. “It’s good fun but I just do that as a side thing as my main love is the fighting because I love the training and the people.”
Hales first got into boxing by following in the foot-steps of his mum, Diana Sigston.
She then set up the SS8 fight club in Canvey where Hales continues to train along with TSG where he first took up Mixed Martial Arts.
“I really enjoy it and I really wanted to make my family proud so I’m glad I won,” said Hales, who also helps at the SS8 club.
“I had a chest infection in the build up to it which was a bit of a concern but it all went to plan and now I just can’t wait to get back in there again.”