• Super-middleweight

Ex-footballer relishing boxing debut

ESPN staff
May 7, 2013
Leon McKenzie enjoyed two separate spells in the Premier League, with Crystal Palace and Norwich © PA Photos

Former Premier League striker Leon McKenzie will complete his switch to the boxing ring when he makes his super-middleweight debut on June 28.

McKenzie, whose father Clinton McKenzie was a European and British champion, is being trained by his three-time world champion uncle Duke McKenzie and will face an unnamed opponent at York Hall in Bethnal Green next month.

The 34-year-old had spells with eight different football clubs spanning a sixteen-year career, including two seasons in the top flight of English football with Crystal Palace and then Norwich.

However McKenzie, who has battled depression throughout his career and even admitted attempting suicide while at Charlton in 2010, has now swapped boots for gloves as he looks to emulate both his father and uncle's ring achievements.

"When you look at everything that I've been through, it's unbelievable really," McKenzie told the Croydon Advertiser. 'I can only take each fight as it comes, but I am going to be well prepared and I really can't wait.

"That [York Hall] is where my dad made his professional boxing debut, which has sentimental value to me as well. I am confident a few footballers I know will be coming down to watch as well."

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