A KENDAL teen has followed in his father’s footsteps by signing a professional boxing contract.

Taylor Finch won six of his seven fights as an amateur despite only entering the sport two years ago.

But the 19-year-old has gone from strength to strength as a boxer and has now put pen to paper on a contract with MTK Global - the same promotion company that star name Tyson Fury is under. He will be managed by Johnney Roye.

Taylor is following in the footsteps of father Alvin, who also turned professional at 19 and fought 106 fights between the ages of 11 and 21 - when he was forced to retire after suffering an eye injury during a bout.

Alvin later coached at Ambleside and Windermere Amateur Boxing Club - where Taylor boxed as an amateur - and has travelled the world as a boxing referee.

Alvin said he did not encourage his children to get into boxing, and in fact did not discover that Taylor had taken up the sport for a number of months.

Nevertheless, he is ‘ecstatic’ that his son has become a boxer,

“I don’t think he wanted to live on my name, he just wanted to do something himself,” he said.

“I watched him on the pads, and I couldn’t believe it was my lad.

“I can see more potential in him than I had, because things have changed, everything’s moved on, from the 80s to now - with nutrition, with training methods.

“He takes a good shot, he gives a good shot, and he’s very determined.

“In my mind he is going to go a long, long way.”

Taylor, who is a painter and decorator at Kendal-based AJM Painting and Decorating, now travels to Preston to train at the MTK Global gym there - with professional athletes still able to train during the pandemic.

Alvin said his son was initially not going to turn professional until next year but, with amateur boxing cancelled until at least later this year, it was felt he might as well begin training for a professional bout.

The plan is for him to have his first professional fight in around 12 months time, although this could happen sooner depending on his progress.

Alvin, 54, who is the mayor of Kendal, said: “He’s got 12 months of learning the pro game before making his debut.

“He may as well be learning that game, because it’s a completely different game.”

As an amateur, Taylor never lost on these shores, with his only defeat coming in the final of the prestigious King of the Ring competition in Sweden.

Alvin himself boxed for England when he was 15. He won multiple titles at divisional level before turning professional at 19. He retired in 1987. He was the only professional boxer in Cumbria at the time.