British prospect Bilal Berkoun made his debut in Germany recently after turning professional under the guidance of Ashley Theophane.
Berkoun became the first fighter under Theophane’s new Treasure Management following the creation of Treasure Boxing Club.
After hanging up his gloves following a stellar career that included signing with Floyd Mayweather, Theophane turned his hand to helping others.
Despite being open for a short time, the Londoner has already hit the ground running and celebrated Berkoun’s success.
Speaking to World Boxing News exclusively, Theophane and Berkoun look forward to the future.
“In such a short space of time, Treasure Boxing Club has been touching thousands of lives through our community programs,” Theophane explained to WBN.
“I fought and won 50 times in 12 countries over a 17-year professional career. It’s only right if I’m going to help a young fighter. Building them and getting experience on the road is my preferred way,” he added.
Discussing his second-round stoppage of Pavel Hermanat Columbia Club in Tempelhof, Berkoun said: “Just getting warming up with Ashley Theophane pre-fight and then getting in the ring with my music and people was the experience every fighter turning pro thinks about all the time.
“It felt good to get the win, especially the stoppage. I’ve always believed I could get as a professional compared to the amateur boxing style.”
Asked if there are any plans in the pipeline to fight at home in London, he responded: “I plan to listen to the advice given to me from experienced and successful professionals that have been there and done it.
“In this case, Ashley Theophane has gone out of his way to try to steer my career. Therefore, the experience of going abroad and picking up wins is even more valuable down the line.
“Eventually and most probably, it would be good to fight and out in front of all my people in London, my home city.”
Heading over to Germany would have been a baptism of fire for Berkoun. However, Theophane was known as a globetrotter, so it’s no surprise.
“It was a great experience going down there as a team and being in a different setting. Boxing is boxing, so I understood what I had to do in the ring,” pointed out Berkoun.
“A ring is so ring, so it was about sticking to the plan and listening to my corner. Picking up wins abroad is what all the great champions do, so it was a good start for a debut.”
Concluding on outlining his preparations, Berkoun added: “I stayed in the gym for over a year and a half despite thinking I’d never get a chance to box again.
“I even planned to go back as an amateur after spending all the time and money on developing myself as a fighter.
“Like every fighter, preparations were tiresome but necessary to get where I wanted to go. I sparred with many top names domestically and in Europe, making good work out of all those spars.
“Putting names out and leaving others wouldn’t do any justice as I developed with everyone I stepped in there with.
“I put in the work every time to make sure everyone reading will at some point find out about me as a fighter down the line.”
Phil Jay is an experienced boxing news writer.
Editor of World Boxing News since 2010.