Maguire turns pro at just the right time

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CITY boxing sensation Michael Maguire has turned professional after an outstanding amateur career.

CITY boxing sensation Michael Maguire has turned professional after an outstanding amateur career.The 19 year-old bantamweight from Eastfield has joined the ambitious Hayemaker Boxing stable, who have undisputed world cruiserweight champion David Haye as their figurehead.

And Maguire signed up with the London-based camp yesterday just as they announced big plans for the future.

Hayemaker Boxing have signed a ten-show deal with Setanta Sports, which will include four Haye fights.

The contract runs from September 1 2008 to December 31 2009 and as well as showing Haye's fights, Setanta will have the rights to show six Hayemaker Boxing shows during that period, each of which will have at the very least a British title on the card.

It was also announced that Hayemaker Boxing have agreed a five-year partnership with the big American set-up Golden Boy Promotions, who now hold exclusive rights to Haye in the United States. And they also revealed plans to open up a new training base in Cyprus.

Upon making the announcement at London's O2 Arena yesterday, Haye and his manager and trainer Adam Booth were accompanied by fighters new to their stable – including Maguire and British light-middleweight champion Ryan Rhodes.

"We are putting promoters on notice that there is a new promotional entity and new ideal that's here for the fighters and only for the fighters," said Booth, who will also train and manage Maguire.

Maguire's decision to join the paid ranks comes just weeks after he suffered bitter disappointment at not making it to the Beijing Olypmics.

He was in the GB Elite Development Squad but the selection procedure - where only one fighter from each country is permited in each weight category - went against him.

The GB team were keen to keep him on board and groom him for the 2012 Games in London, taking in World and European Championships and the Commonwealth Games along the way.

But Maguire decided against waiting another four years and preferred to join the paid ranks.

Last year Maguire was crowned European Under 19 champion and was rated number two in the junior world rankings.

He won 75 of his 79 amateur fights during a career that took in nine national titles and four Four Nations gold medals as well as that European title.

Maguire's amateur trainer, Clive Hogben, from the Kettering School Of Boxing, said: "This is a fantastic move for Michael, everything is perfectly timed.

"He is joining a camp where they put the boxer first and everything else comes second. They are not a money-making enterprise.

"He will be working with all the top trainers and promoters and that could include world-class sparring with top fighters from the Golden Boy Promotions in Los Angeles.

"A lot of people were chasing Michael to get him to turn pro but he's made the right decision to choose Hayemaker at just the right time.

"They've been tracking Michael for nearly two and a half years and have put together an exceptional deal."