BOXER Sam Greenfield says that he is looking to put his troublesome upbringing behind him as he begins in his professional journey.

Greenfield signed a professional contract with manager Glenn Banks and trainer Stephen Melton, both from York, following his move to the city from Milton Keynes last year.

Having been surrounded by crime during his childhood, the title-winning former Thai boxer and kick-boxer is hoping to build a new life as a professional boxer in York.

“The main reason that I moved up to York was because the place I’m from is not a very nice place,” said Greenfield, who is now based in Tang Hall.

“There was a lot of crime, particularly knife crime, and for a lot of my life I’ve wanted to get out of there.

“When I was younger, around 17 or 18, I was around that. I was never the person that started anything but I was always there and it was the people around me that were involved in it.

“I’ve got lots of friends and family here in York so this was the best place to come.

“Since moving here, a friend of mine took me down to the gym and that was the first time that I met Steve.”

Combat sports have been Greenfield’s form of escapism for much of his life.

“I’ve been involved in combat sports for as far back as I can remember,” said the 20-year-old.

“There’s a photo of me in my head guard and gloves at the age of five.

“It’s the hardest but it’s the best sport in the world.

“I started Thai boxing and kickboxing when I was 13.

"I started that because I was getting into a lot of trouble on the streets and in school.

“My dad dragged me into the local gym and told the coaches to sort me out.”

Almost immediately, Greenfield found success. During his time in Thai boxing and kickboxing, he won domestic and world titles as well as representing his country.

But, despite spending much of his amateur career in other combat sports disciplines, a move to the paid ranks of boxing was always Greenfield’s dream.

“The first combat sport that I ever did was orthodox boxing.

"From then on, being a professional boxer was my dream, even when I was fighting in Thai boxing and kickboxing.

"I still wanted to be a professional boxer.

“Being offered to have your dream job, taking out coronavirus and even in these circumstances, I was 100 per cent in taking this opportunity.

“There was no way that I was ever going to turn this down and then, in five years time, looking back and thinking ‘I could have had my dream job but I said no’.

Greenfield believes that his background will make him difficult to beat when facing more orthodox boxers.

“From fighting in Thai boxing and kickboxing, I don’t have the most common style,” explained the 5ft 4in fighter.

“Most fighters are all trained in then same way and most professionals have just done boxing.

“I’ve got a very unorthodox style.

"And even though I’m small, I love to get in there and create as much havoc as I can.

“Everyone that I’ve ever fought has been taller than me and my style (against that) has always been rough and aggressive.

"I look to break people down and not giving them a second to breath.”

All professional boxing events in January have been suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

A further review by the BBBofC will take place later this month in relation to resuming fights.