Preston North End are delighted to announce that the Club are backing one of our own, boxer Bill Hodgson as he turns professional.
The lifetime Lilywhite, who is based at the Kirkham and Fylde Boxing Club, will make his professional debut on the undercard of Coldwell Boxing’s ‘New Kids On The Dock 2’ show at Liverpool Olympia on December 14th.
Hodgson has previously fought Tyson Fury in the amateur ranks and counts Enzo Maccarinelli and Britain’s next big hope Anthony Joshua as previous sparring partners.
Speaking of the partnership with PNE, the heavyweight said: “It is unbelievable to know that Preston North End are going to back me.
“I am dead privileged to be quite fair, I am a Preston fan, so what better than to have my home Club backing me.”
Already on Twitter, boxing fans Iain Hume, John Welsh and David Buchanan have given their backing and support to Hodgson, something which delights the 30 year old.
“It is amazing to have some of the players backing me,” said the part time electrician.
“Hopefully we can get a few of them down to the gym and have a bit of a session!”
Hodgson is a regular a Deepdale during his limited free time, last attending for the home victory against Swindon Town.
And he is hoping to emulate players he classes as North End heroes such as Andy Saville in the eyes of Preston fans.
“I have been a Preston fan all my life,” continued Hodgson.
“I don’t get down as often just now as I’m doing a lot of beach runs and stuff on a Saturday, but I keep an eye on the results all the time.
“My North End hero would have to be Andy Saville; he scored a lot of goals.
“I have quite a few actually; David Eyres and Sean Gregan are another two who I’d class as my heroes.”
Hodgson has remained an amateur boxer until recently as he juggled day-to-day life with two jobs and his boxing career.
But under the guidance of trainer Mark Barker, he is hoping to make a big splash on the UK heavyweight scene, with a Prizefighter appearance a not too distance target of his.
“I have spoken to Dave Coldwell and he is going to fast-track me,” added Hodgson.
“First year I am going to feel my way out, second year he wants me to try and challenge for an English title and there is Prizefighter and all that to come.
“I want to get a British title, that is my aim.
“I stayed amateur because I was trying to juggle the two things between work and boxing.
“I had two jobs and I was boxing around them, it is just life at the end of the day.
“But I kept going back to it and I kept sticking at it, I had a few injuries as well so it was just one of those things.
“I want to be fighting once a month to start off with; I want to keep busy, very busy.
“A lot of pros don’t, they are in and out, hang around for six months.
“I am fit all year round, so it is the case that I am ready to go whenever.
“The style that I am, I’m quick for a heavyweight.
“I’m fit as well, if you have a look around at a lot of these heavyweights, they are very ponderous and they are not in very good shape, their conditioning is awful.
“I’m after a couple of fights to feel my way out and then hopefully get into a Prizefighter because that would suit me down to a tee.
“It is my kind of pace that so I’m hoping to get in.
“I got into boxing just to keep fit and when I got fit I just enjoyed it.
“I enjoyed fighting and I went from one step to the next.
“I started competing, did well and had a good record in the amateurs and it is time to go pro now.
“My amateur record is fought 19, won 15, lost four and I have fought some good kids.
“At some point my target would have to be Anthony Joshua, I think he is going to get moved very quickly by the looks of things.
“He has had three fights already and he has only just turned pro and is supposed to have another two before Christmas.
“There are a few targets; the heavyweight division is wide open.
“There are a few names that have been there for a long time.
“There is a couple of up and coming kids who I have fought that have turned pro now who I have beat, so we will just have to see.
“Whoever is put in front of me, I will just have to do a job on them.”
With Hodgson currently based in Kirkham – a half way home for Preston and Blackpool fans, the north west’s newest prospect can count on football rivals and fellow boxers Brian Rose and Scott Cardle as close friends.
“But that hasn’t stopped the North End man dishing out the jokes at his Blackpool counterparts’ expense following that incredible night in August.
“There are a few Blackpool fans in the gym, only one or two now actually, I think I’m slowly fading them out!” joked Hodgson.
“They were certainly quiet after that cup win anyway.
“In all seriousness you do get a good bit of banter and I am happy to give it back.
“Brian Rose has done absolutely amazing, Scott Cardle is up and coming, he is going to go places.
“I know Scotty very well from training in the gym with him, I trained with him as an amateur and he still comes down as a pro now so I’m close friends with him.”
You can follow Bill on twitter now @billhodgson1 and tickets are currently available from Liverpool Olympia for his debut fight.
You can also keep abreast of his upcoming fights on PNE.Com and through our various social media outlets, including a video of Hodgson in action closer to his debut.