Glsagow 2014 boxer Joe Ham joins pro ranks

Joe Ham made the Glasgow 2014 quarter-finals but felt his time as an amateur was over. Picture:John Devlin
Joe Ham made the Glasgow 2014 quarter-finals but felt his time as an amateur was over. Picture:John Devlin
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COMMONWEALTH GAMES boxer Joe Ham, from Glasgow, has turned professional with local promoter Alex Morrison a month after exiting at the quarter-final stages.

The 23-year-old bantamweight is the first of the ten-man team to join the paid ranks and makes his pro debut on a show in the city on 17 October against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Morrison said: “I have high hopes for Joe. He is a talented fighter with a lot of amateur experience and is potentially one of the hottest prospects in the country.”

Ham, who won the Scottish Championships five times in a row, said: “I don’t think the amateur game suited my style with just three rounds. Over a longer distance you will see a different fighter.

“I have achieved all I can as an amateur. I have been to four Europeans and World Championships, two Commonwealth Games and all over the world since I was 14. Now I want to stay home more.”

Meanwhile, Morrison says he advised former two-time world champion Ricky Burns to move up to light-welterweight more than a year ago.

The 31-year-old Coatbridge boxer will return to the ring on a Leeds show on 4 October at the new weight after losing his WBO lightweight crown to American Terence Crawford in March.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said Burns had been advised by a London specialist, who evaluated his weight along with muscle mass and density, that there was no way he could make 135lbs efficiently anymore.

But Morrison, who manages Burns, said: “I told Ricky he should move up after his win over Jose Gonzalez in May last year. You don’t need a specialist or a dietician to tell you when you are struggling to make the weight and Ricky was physically drained even before he fought Crawford, but he didn’t to want to make excuses.”