Kurt Walker [3(1)-0] believes he got a real introduction to pro boxing in Belfast last month.
The former amateur standout suggests there was a debut feel to his Return of the Mick undercard victory – and not just because it was his maiden fight in his hometown.
Having dealt with his first two opponents with relative ease, the Conlan Boxing feather took a huge leap up and faced former World Youth Champion Marcos Gabriel Martinez at the SSE Arena.
The Canal BC graduate admits facing the fighter, whose three defeats only came in title fights, proved a lot more testing than his previous bouts – and thus he feels like it was a real introduction to what pro-life is like.
“It was a massive difference,” he tells Irish-boxing.com when asked how it compared to his opening two fights.
“It felt like that was my first professional fight. I got 6 good rounds in against a tough opponent and I learnt a lot from it and that’s what this stage in my career is all about,” he adds rather pragmatically.
The Adam Booth trained fighter took the step up in his stride and boxed his way to an early eye-catching win.
Reflecting on his display he adds: “I was delighted with my performance. I was working on certain stuff in the lead-up to the fight and it showed in the ring. There are still a few things I think I could have done better but that’s all part of it.”
The laid-back and confident 27-year-old claims he had no qualms about facing such a test so early, but did have his senses sharpened when he seen a fit ‘La Maquinita’ come weigh in time.
“The nerves weren’t really there, although I had some when I saw him at the weigh in. I seen he was in shape and was thinking ‘this lad is coming to win so I’ll need to be switched on’.”
Such a win so early could buy the Olympian more learning fights, although some may feel he should look at the next level having been so assured against a fighter with 18 wins to his name.
Walker, it seems, is easy either way. The Top Rank feather trusts Jamie and Michael Conlan to make the right choices for him and he is ready to face whoever they decide to put in front of him.
“I’m easy when it comes to [what’s next]. I trust my team to guide me the way they think will be best. Anytime Jamie sends me an opponent I say yes even before I’ve watched them, so I don’t have too much to do with it at this stage.”