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Dean Richardson has his eyes on the road as well as the ring

PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 May 2016

Former Dale Youth ABC starlet Dean Richardson celebrates winning his second professional fight at York Hall on May 14.

Former Dale Youth ABC starlet Dean Richardson celebrates winning his second professional fight at York Hall on May 14.

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As if it wasn’t hard enough pursuing a professional boxing career, former Dale Youth ABC starlet Dean Richardson has also been putting in some hard graft outside the ring, as he takes the final steps towards becoming a licensed black taxi driver.

After leaving school at 18 and not knowing where to turn next bar boxing, Richardson opted to follow his dad’s path and train to become a cab driver, something Ray has been doing for nearly 20 years.

A driver is expected to know at least 320 basic routes, 25,000 streets within the routes and around 20,000 different landmarks/places of public interest, all of which are located within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross, and Richardson has admitted it hasn’t been easy to say the least.

He told the Times: “When I was younger I was never really interested in that to be honest with you.

“But when I came out of sixth form still not knowing what I wanted to do apart from boxing, my dad turned to me and said what about becoming a cab driver.

“I knew I wanted to become a professional boxer, but at the same time I needed something to fall back on as you don’t know what’s around the corner.

“I did the knowledge element of the test first and passed it and have taken it from there really. It’s a lot of hard work but I’m close to reaping the rewards from it.”

He continued: “It’s a job I can do for life, and I can work on it when I have some spare time between training. I have that freedom, so I’m in a good position now.

“I’m pretty close now to being fully qualified. You have your thing called your requisition, which is basically knowing how to get around the whole of London.

“I passed that last Friday so I’ve just got one more test called the suburbs, which is for example travelling out of London to places like Heathrow Airport, Enfield and Bromley and then I’ll be a fully qualified black cab driver.”

The prospect of that is no doubt an exciting one for the youngster, who has made a flying start to his professional career, with back-to-back knockouts in his first two fights against Aleksejs Grustans and most recently Ivan Duvancic.

Richardson trains at State of Mind Fitness in Hammersmith with fellow welterweight Dan-Dan Keenan, who he turned professional with at the same time in November, and says they are both getting the best out of each other.

“It’s good as we’re a similar age, and see each other every day as we train together,” he explained.

“There’s a good atmosphere in the gym and banter is flying around.We push each other on, which can only be a good thing.”

Like Keenan, Richardson recently had the opportunity to train with Dale Youth ABC legend George Groves, one of a host of boxers he looks up to in the current day.

“He’s someone who has fought in some really big fights in his career already,” said Richardson. “That includes one of the biggest British bouts in recent history and he’s also been out to Vegas.

“You can’t ask for a better training partner really than George.”

He continued: “When I first got into boxing I saw George fight Kenny Anderson and took an instant liking to him. His power and speed stood out to me.

“I’m a big fan of Canelo (Alvarez), too. To be 25 and one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world takes some doing.

“(Vasyl) Lomachenko is another fighter that stands out for me.

“He’s brilliant to watch and a very exciting fighter, but technically brilliant at the same time.”

The 20-year-old had a short but productive spell as an amateur, winning 12 of his 16 bouts, and says he has relished the step up to professional.

He added: “It couldn’t have gone much better to be honest with you.

“Two knockouts from my first two fights is obviously brilliant.

“We’re looking at the end of September [when I’ll fight again.]

“I’m actually pencilled in for October 29, but if something crops up before then, which means coming off that bill, I’ll do that.”

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