HENRY WHARTON believes that his young protege George Davey will rise to the “massive occasion” of his professional debut on Saturday night.

Davey makes his professional boxing debut at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on Saturday evening on the undercard to Josh Warrington’s IBF featherweight world title defence against Sofiane Takoucht.

It follows on from a successful spell in the amateurs when Davey won international medals and a gold at the prestigious Haringey Box Cup when representing Henry’s Gym, which is based in Acomb.

Now though, the 21-year-old will be aiming to kickstart his career in the paid ranks after signing with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren, with his fight potentially being broadcast by BT Sport.

Davey’s trainer and manager Wharton, a former world title challenger during the 1990s, thinks he’s got all the attributes to have a strong career under the spotlight, starting on Saturday.

“I’ve taken George all over the world as an amateur and he’s won gold medals and beaten some of the world’s finest," said Wharton.

“This is why he’s in this position and why people believe that he can achieve magnificent things in this sport.

“I wouldn’t be with him if I didn’t think that he could. For me to tell lies and to be boastful about a fighter of mine, it’d mean nothing to me.

“I’m coming from a background of having decent success in my own career.

“If he can have the success that we believe that he is capable of, then York will have a boxer that they can be very proud of.

“I believe he can achieve great things.

“This is a massive occasion with a lot of expectation for him. There is expectation on George, because he’s that good of a boxer.

“He’ll be a bit nervous, which is to be expected, but I just hope that that doesn’t tarnish his own performance.

“When you’re looking for a reaction from the crowd, your technique can go.

“I hope that he keeps himself level-headed and firmly grounded, and that’s why we’re here as his corner team.

“We don’t want him to be too far out of comfort zone, but we’re expecting that to an extent too.

“This is all brand new to George. It’s alright saying that I’ve been there and seen it in my career, but George hasn’t.

"But, I'm confident that he'll be able to show the quality that we know he's capable of."

Tonight's debut as a professional for Davey is a culmination of years of hard work during his teenage years.

Aged 16, he made the decision to leave Lanzarote, where he grew up, and pursue a career in boxing under the guidance of Wharton.

“It’s a real funny situation seeing George making his pro debut now having been with him since the start," Wharton said.

"I don’t know how else to explain it than saying that it’s a rags to riches story. George has come over (to York) from Lanzarote as a young, aspiring boxer.

“He said to his dad ‘I really like this sport,’ and his dad has said ‘if you’re serious about this, then there’s a friend of mine in York who runs a boxing gym’.

“Since coming here, he’s never once missed a session at the gym. He’s shown such great commitment and dedication.

“It’s shown great commitment in that he’s left his family and they’ve shown great trust in me to train him."