• Boxing news

McKenzie wins debut professional fight

ESPN staff
June 29, 2013
Leon McKenzie was a dominant victor © Getty Images

Former Norwich City and Crystal Palace forward Leon McKenzie won his debut professional boxing fight in front of a packed crowd at York Hall on Saturday.

McKenzie, whose boxing adventure has gained widespread publicity after he revealed his struggles with depression during his football career, knocked out John Mason in the second round to get his super-middleweight career off to the perfect start.

Mason was not the most difficult opponent - having lost his last five fights in a row - but McKenzie nevertheless delivered, overcoming a somewhat ungainly first round to demolish his rival in the second.

Perhaps with the advice of his uncle, three-time world champion uncle Duke McKenzie, fine-tuning his tactics, McKenzie twice dropped Mason to the canvas with slick blows, with the referee waving the contest off after the latter of them.

Following his victory, McKenzie stated that the buzz from boxing was better than anything he had experienced on a football field and that he could not wait to get back in the ring.

"It was fantastic,' McKenzie told the Daily Mail. "It couldn't have gone better for my debut; I worked so hard. I felt so strong, I'm hitting so hard and I can't wait for the next one.

"Once I settled down I knew I had the beating of him. I had a fantastic football career and scored over 100 goals; but that beats any one I scored.

"I have to take it one step at a time, I respect the sport and anyone who does it. That's why I train so hard."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.