BLACKWOOD lightweight prospect Craig Evans is looking forward to his first fight as a professional in Newport on Friday night.

The 22-year-old is pleased to be a part of the BoxNation Newport Centre show headlined by St Joseph’s star Lee Selby, who defends his Commonwealth featherweight title against Ghana’s Patrick Okine.

Unbeaten Evans is tipped for the very top by his promoter Frank Warren and says his fight against Newcastle’s Dougie Curran will be his last at six rounds before he moves on to eight and looks to challenge for titles.

“I can’t wait to get in the ring and fight in front of my own fans in Newport,” said Evans, who last fought in Cardiff in February.

“This will be my second fight as a pro in Wales having been around the country to London, Liverpool and Glasgow so it will be nice to be back home.”

Curran, aged 23, was in action as recently as last Friday when he lost a unanimous decision over ten rounds for the vacant English super featherweight title against Terry Flannigan and is scheduled to take on Stuart Hall in Manchester on June 2.

He has a record of 12 defeats, two draws and five wins from his 19 bouts as a pro and Evans is confident of victory.

“I’m in good shape and he won’t be anywhere near as fresh as me so I believe I will beat him,” he said. “Hopefully I will take my record to seven wins from seven and then I will look to move on from six rounders to eight.

“Within the next year I hope to be going for a title.”

Having turned pro as a 20-year-old in 2010 Evans insists he has no regrets at missing out on a potential shot at gold alongside Newport’s Fred Evans at the London Olympics this summer.

“I’m very happy being a professional,” he said. “I don’t even think about the Olympics.

“I look at someone like Lee Selby, who I know from the amateurs and he is an inspiration to me the way he has moved up through the sport and progressed so quickly.

“I want to follow what he’s done and I think I have made pretty good progress so far considering I’m only 22.”

Tickets for Friday night’s show are available from the Newport Centre on 01633 662666 or online at