BARNSLEY boxer Callum Simpson is hoping his new deal with Sky Sports will help him reach the very top of the sport.
The 26-year-old super-middleweight, from the town centre, has signed an exclusive promotion agreement with Boxxer and will now fight on Sky – starting with a bill at Manchester Arena on March 25.
Simpson – who began as an amateur under Trevor Schofield and John Sagar at Barnsley Star – has won all ten of his professional fights, most by early knock-out. He won the Central Area title last year – a belt he hopes will be the first of many.
Simpson told the Chronicle: “This is the next chapter for me.
“It’s what I have worked my whole life for.
“I have been boxing since I was nine.
“To be boxing on TV is what all boxers want and it’s the opportunity to get the fights and belts I want in the future.
“I have had a really good reaction from everyone in Barnsley and hopefully this is the start of something big.
“I am incredibly excited to join the Boxxer and SkySports team.
“We had heard from pretty much all the big promoters in the UK.
“My manager had been in talks but, for me, the Sky Sports platform is the biggest in UK sports.
“I have grown up knowing Sky Sports have the big fights on.
“I went to watch Chris Eubank Junior against Liam Smith and I was blown away by the set-up.”
Simpson is friends with a number of Barnsley FC players, including Liam Kitching whose brother guy is also a professional boxer.
Four of them watched Simpson’s last fight on October 1.
“I have had messages from most of the team. They are congratulating me.
“I have been to Oakwell this week for a project they are working on.
“All the staff and players have warmed to me and supported me.
“We’re hoping to try to get Kitching and some of the other players in the gym before my next flight and see if they can keep up.
“Hopefully some of them can come across for my fight.”
Simpson is due to fight on the undercard of Lawrence Okolie’s world title fight while Olympians Frazer Clarke and Karriss Artingstall are also on the bill as well as former world title challenger Jack Catterall.
“We’re still waiting for an opponent. There are a few options.
“As far as I am aware they are all ranked-higher than me and with winning records so I will be going into a proper fight.
“There are some big names on the bill already and some others might be added to it.
“It will be a big event and a big crowd, so I am really excited. I want to put a good show on to the UK audience, who I think will like my style with a lot of punches and aggression.”
Simpson wants to fight regularly throughout 2023 and win another belt.
“I 100 per cent want a title this year, whether it’s the English title or British or Commonwealth or something else.
“I am hoping to fight at least four times this year, which is quite often for a televised pro.
“I want to be active. I love the life, train very hard and enjoy boxing. I like being in the gym and fighting.”
Boxxer CEO and founder Ben Shalom said: “There’s been a lot of talk in British boxing about Callum Simpson.
“He’s a crowd-pleasing fighter with potential to go far. He has a big fanbase in his hometown of Barnsley and we think he’ll be a huge hit with fans across the UK and beyond.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what he can achieve.”