A YOUNG Chester-based boxer is set to make his professional debut, 13 years after he first set foot in one of the city's boxing clubs.

Patrick McDonagh, 20, is full of anticipation for his first professional bout as part of 'Kings of the Ring' at the Manchester Bowlers Exhibition Centre on Saturday, February 17. The young man hopes it is the beginning of a journey which will see him clinch a world championship.

McDonagh, who is from a large Traveller family with its roots in Manchester, says the "ability to fight means everything".

He said: "It's been with me all my life and it was natural to begin training to box intensively when I found out that I was good at it.

"Aged seven, I started at Deva Academy in Chester and had my first official amateur bout at 15 out of Jimmy Egan's Academy in Manchester."

A devout Christian, he says he would like to win a championship "for the glory of God, so rooted am I in my Christian faith".

The married father-of-one is now preparing for his bout at Liverpool’s Golden Gloves Boxing Club where his coach describes him as a "talented young boxer who is hungry for success, determined to improve his skills and succeed and therefore someone to watch out for."

McDonagh adds: "I hope to have maybe five contests this year and I’m confident that because God is with me, I can use any victories I get to glorify him. If it’s his will that could take me to world championship. I’ll go wherever the journey takes me."