YORK has a new professional boxer after super lightweight Rafal Benka received his license from the British Boxing Board of Control.

Benka enjoyed a successful career in the amateur ranks of the sport under the guidance of York boxing legend Henry Wharton, a three-time world title challenger during his fighting career in the 1990s.

Boxing for Henry’s Gym, which is based in Acomb, Benka travelled around the world as an amateur, competing in tournaments in Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

The highlight of which saw Benka progress to the final of the 2018 King of the Ring tournament in Boras, Sweden.

Benka becomes the fifth boxer from the city to move into the paid ranks, following stable-mates George Davey and Mitchell Barton as well as Cam Shaw and Michael Fafera.

Born in Poland, Benka moved to England aged eight, with his family relocating to Durham.

Having already taken up the sport avidly previously, Benka dedicated to boxing upon his move to York and Henry's Gym.

The 25-year-old is currently a student at the York St Johns University, where he studies Sport and Exercise Therapy.

After receiving what he felt were wrong decisions in his later amateur days, Wharton persuaded Benka to make the move into the professional game.

Originally the plan was for Benka to debut in the paid ranks before June, though the current suspension of professional shows means that that set date now looks unclear.

Benka said: “For the past two years, boxing and training has been my life and it’s given me my purpose and I’ve just wanted to go further and further with it.

“I feel great at the moment and I can’t wait for my first fight."