Anto Upton [14(5)-1(0)] is to make a change in his training set-up and move closer to home for the next chapter in his career.
The former English light welterweight champ had been based in London at the West Ham Boxing Cub under Barry Smith and Harry Andrews, but is to return to Belfast full time to be closer to his young family.
Here he will be trained at the Immanuel Boxing Academy by former pros Ray Ginley and Dee Walsh. Upton joins Lewis Crocker, Ger Healy, Mathew Fitzsimons, Padraig McCrory, Conor Cooke, Mark Morris, and Joe Hillerby in the new IBA outfit.
The 25 year old explained how “people in this game will know how lonely this sport can be and living away from your family can make it ten times lonelier. It got to a point where I could no longer stick living away from my family in Belfast. So I have made the decision to move back and continue my career here in Belfast and get to see my handsome young lad grow up.”
“I moved away when he was seven months old, now he is five and I have missed out on so much of his growing up whilst I travelled back and forth to England. In the end I was very sad and down. I kept trying to put my all into the gym but lately it just wasn’t happening.”
“I have been training with two great trainers in Barry Smith and Harry Andrews who have done everything they could for me. I can’t thank them enough and I would like to wish them both all the success in the world as they deserve it.”
“I am now hoping to be fighting a lot more back in Belfast. I am looking to push on and get the best out of myself and be a very happy fighter with my family beside me.”
Upton initially began his career with former two-weight champ Ricky Hatton, but moved alongside his brothers Sonny and Pauly to West Ham last year.
Under Smith and Andrews he would have one fight, a wide points win over Zaurs Sadihovs in the headline fight of the inaugural Ginley Promotions bill at The Devenish Complex in Belfast.
Upton was due to fight on an MTK London card this coming Friday but recently withdrew due to illness. Irish light middleweight champion Pauly remains on the card at the Brentwood Centre in Essex.
A new fight date will be announced for Anto in the near future.
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show: