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Matchroom sign leading amateur Leli Buttigieg

Middleweight talent Leli Buttigieg has signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and is set to make his eagerly anticipated professional debut later this year.

The 18-year-old from Bow in East London trains out of the renowned iBox Gym in Bromley under the tutelage of head trainer Alan Smith and Eddie Lam alongside the likes of Matchroom stablemate Skye Nicolson.

Managed by Lee Eaton, the former Newham Boxing Club fighter enjoyed a glittering stint in the unpaid code, winning four National Titles, a GB Gold Medal and representing England twice at the European Games.

“I’m really looking forward to starting my professional journey with Eddie and the rest of the team at Matchroom,” said Buttigieg. “I have a brilliant team behind me in my trainer Al Smith and my manager Lee Eaton and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve been told my debut will land in early December so now it’s all systems go working towards that date.

“I’ve been training with Al Smith and Eddie Lam at the iBox Gym in Bromley. I’ve been sparring the likes of Danny Dignum who fought for a World Title. I believe I will knockout a lot of people as a professional. As an amateur I could have stopped a lot more opponents but I had to hold back so it didn’t become hard to match me. As a professional I won’t be holding back on anyone and I feel like I’ll get a lot of people out of there.

“For anyone that hasn’t watched me box yet, I bring a bit of everything. I’m an all-rounder. I’m not just good at one thing. I’m good at coming forward and I’m good on the backfoot. I can have a war; I can take a shot and I can also give one. I believe as a professional whoever you put in front of me, I’ll have an answer for. I can adapt to anything and get anyone out of there.

“I like to break people down and I like to box on the backfoot. Whatever I have to do to win – I can adapt to anything to get the job done. I’ve always enjoyed watching Miguel Cotto. I’m excited to ditch the vest and show everyone what I’m capable of when I make my debut under the bright lights.

“School wasn’t really for me. Everything was just boxing boxing boxing boxing. I called college off because I wanted to put everything into boxing. It’s all going to pay off. Boxing is the path to my successful life. I believe I’m going to go to the very top of the game.

“I started boxing at the age of seven and I went into my first championship at the age of eleven, winning the Minors. Then I went into the Schoolboys after that in 2019 and won them. I did the Three Nations for England, winning a gold medal in them in 2019. After that I went to the European Games for England.

“I have a very good amateur pedigree. I won four National Titles; I won a GB Gold Medal and I got picked to box for England at the European Games twice. My name is Emmanuel Buttergieg and I’m from Bow, East London – remember the name because I’m coming for everything.”

“Another young and exciting addition to our growing stable of talent,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “I’m incredibly excited about signing Leli Buttigieg and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with him on his professional journey. Leli looks like the complete package and there’s a lot of people raving about this young man’s talent. He has a great team behind him in trainer Al Smith and manager Lee Eaton and we’ll be dropping news on his professional debut in the coming weeks.”

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