Former Crystal Palace and Norwich striker Leon McKenzie eyes title bid
By Dev Trehan. Last Updated: 09/03/14 3:30pm
Leon McKenzie: Eyes title challenge
Leon McKenzie says he has a title firmly in his sights after his knockout victory over Nikola Varbanov on Saturday stretched his unbeaten run as a professional boxer to four fights.
McKenzie despatched the Bulgarian in clinical fashion, with the 19-year-old unable to make the count after being floored by a flurry of crunching body shots in the second round.
And the former Premier League footballer-turned-boxer insists he is itching for a crack at one of the country's top super-middleweights in the not too distant future.
"I had a job to do today. I worked a little bit quicker than normal and everything went to plan," McKenzie told skysports.com.
"I'm getting good experience but we're going to step things up now with maybe another couple of four-rounders, a six and then we'll be looking to go for a Masters title or something.
"An English title is also definitely something I've got my eye on. It will be a massive task but you can never say never.
"My division is one of the toughest out there and there are quality fighters throughout from your Callum Smith's to your Rocky Fielding's. Paul Smith is the reigning British champion and Frank Buglioni is a European champion who has a big fanbase and is doing really well.
"I have to be a realist at the end of the day and as much as I've got ability, I'm coming up to 36 so I would not back down from fighting anyone domestically.
"I've got a lot of respect for all of the fighters but if in the future there is a fight to be made with one of them, then 100% I will take the fight.
"It would be nice for me to get a shot against one of these boys and see how I do."
McKenzie enjoyed support from a large contingent of footballers past and present for his fight at Bethnal Green's York Hall including Jimmy Bullard, Clinton Morrison, Steve Kabba and Jason Euell.
But the 35-year-old, who is trained by his uncle, three-weight former world champion Duke McKenzie, warned potential opponents not to pay too much attention to his football back-story.
"People shouldn't look at the whole football story when it comes to me because my background is just a little bit different," he said.
"I've been very well-schooled so if people think they fancy it because I used to play football then they might find out that they could come unstuck.
"I'm still a novice right now and don't have that experience to be calling people out but I'm improving with every fight.
"If everything goes to plan then I think there are fights out there for me that people would like to watch.
"I think there would be interest and TV involved just because of my family background and whoever it is I'm fighting."