Former Premier League striker Leon McKenzie is to make his boxing debut later this month at the age of 35.

The ex-Fulham man scored 115 goals in 405 games for eight different clubs before retiring as a professional two years ago.

McKenzie has boxing in the blood as his father Clinton was a British and European title holder while his uncle Duke went one further being a former five-time world champion.

McKenzie told the BBC: "Trust me they've hit me hard - to the point of seeing stars. It feels amazing.

"I've been hit and I've been hurt. It's a great experience for me and I held my own. As much as I've taken a few, I've got the ability to bring some as well."

The former Crystal Palace man will fight at super middleweight but there is still the matter of finding an opponent for the fight in just under four weeks time.

The striker also had spells at Charlton, Coventry, Northampton and Kettering in his 18 year footballing career.

He has also suffered from depression and spoke publicly about his battle with the illness while playing and served a jail sentence last year for illegally trying to avoid speeding offences.

McKenzie added: "I sort of lost my direction a little bit. When I had that time incarcerated I asked myself a lot of questions. When I came out of there it just came to me and I just wanted to fight.

"I'm sparring with professionals now and coming out on top and that gave me the confidence to have a go at it."

If all goes to plan with the fight this month, there is plans for McKenzie to extend his boxing career and fight in Norwich in September. 

As a footballer, the striker is well known for playing in that city after he scored in a 2-0 victory over Manchester United in 2006.

McKenzie continued: "It all depends how the first one goes. If I come out unmarked we will be fighting in Norwich in the middle of September."

 

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