It may have taken him longer than he initially hoped but a boxer from Faversham is readying himself to turn professional this year - following in one of his ancestors’ footsteps.
Alex Branson-Cole decided to go pro in 2019 but, with the Covid pandemic hitting, those plans had to be put on hold.
The middleweight has now signed with a manager, though, and hopes to fight as a professional this March.
Branson-Cole says he has spoken to boxing historians and believes he will be the first fighter to come out of the town since Tiggy Burney in 1959 with the last before then, in 1934, being Albert Bone - his own great-grandfather!
“I only found out my great-grandad used to be a professional boxer after I did some research on local boxers from the town and a historian gave a list of names and dates,” revealed the 29-year-old, who passed his interview with the British Boxing Board of Control on Wednesday.
“After recognising the surname, I spoke with my nan and she confirmed it. It was pretty interesting.”
Branson-Cole, who boxes at Creekside Boxing Club with trainer Ian Fleckney, is a former Kent and Southern Counties champion, having first started when he was 22.
He has penned a three-year contract with Joe Elfidh and promotions company Boxing Connected.
“I was going to turn professional a few years ago but Covid hit,” he explained.
“It mucked a lot of plans up really, like it did for everyone else - I’m not the only one! So this year I thought ‘Why not?’ because I have had more than 40 amateur bouts now.
“I’m only going to regret it when I’m older (if I don’t do it) so I spoke to my trainer.
“He has trained a couple of professional boxers and he said ‘Do it if you want to do it’ so he got me in contact with a couple of local managers. I went and had a meeting with them and it just went from there, really.
“I went with a local manager from Chatham called Joe who works for Boxing Connected.
“I have signed a three-year contract with him but I still need to get my medical done and, hopefully, I’m planning on fighting in March.”
But life in the pro ranks is very different to how many perhaps perceive it to be.
Branson-Cole, a roofer, said: “As glamorous as saying you are a professional boxer sounds, it’s a very, very hard sport to do full-time - unless you have backing from big managers. The likes of Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn.
“I would say a good 90% of boxers now still have a day-to-day job to bring in the money and pay the rent.”
When asked how he would describe himself as a boxer, he replied: “I would say I’m strong, fit and I’m always ready. My trainer always keeps me ready.
“I will fight anyone at any particular time, really.
"That’s my mentality because I’m always training, so I’m always ready for a fight.
“It’s been a tough, long road and, as an amateur, I fought some of the best middleweight amateurs in the country, so I know what level I’m at and very confident in what I can do.”