Chris Evangelou already has a world title bid in his sights
By David Dulin
Legendary trainers Freddie Roach and Jesse Reid wanted to sign him in the United States, then Ricky Hatton's team wanted him, but the latest boxer to turn professional chose Joe Calzaghe instead.
London-born Cypriot Chris Evangelou will make his debut for Calzaghe Promotions on the card of their latest event in Newport on 20 November.
The 23-year-old light-welterweight, who only started boxing competitively as an amateur at the age of 18, has represented Cyprus and also narrowly missed out on a place at last year's Beijing Olympics.
Evangelou's talent was spotted by the Calzaghe camp after watching his fights on YouTube and it was the lure of one of his idols that made him decide to come to Wales.
"I went to the Los Angeles Wildcard boxing club at the end of July under the coaching of Jesse Reid and Freddy Roach who trained me for a month," he said.
"They offered me a good deal. It was a dream come true to have an offer from such an established coach, but my fans and my family are here in Britain.
Why Evangelou chose Calzaghe
"I'm not ready to uproot myself just yet. I think I've made a mature decision there.
"I came back from LA and when you have a little bit of interest, everyone else wants you.
"I went to the Hattons' gym and sparred there and they were all great people.
"Having Ricky Hatton there was an inspiration too as he's a great world fighter.
"They offered me a good contract and I was thinking about it at the time when we had a call from Gary Lockett [the ex-WBU middleweight champion who works with Calzaghe Promotions].
"They offered me to come down to Wales and do some sparring and see what they had to offer.
"The chemistry was there, everything just clicked. They seemed more like boxing people than business people and to have Joe there was one of the perks.
Newport show excites Joe Calzaghe
"When they offered me a contract I was in a bit of a dilemma as to who I go with.
"We picked the Calzaghes because of just who they are as people and what they are going to offer me, and the pedigree in coaching."
Evangelou's first fight next month is as one of the undercards to light-middleweight Bradley Pryce.
The Cypriot's opponent has yet to be announced but he wants someone who is going to provide a stern test.
Evangelou is keen to make quick progress in the professional game after "cramming a lifetime" of amateur boxing into just six years.
"I want a British title soon - a couple of years - and I want a world title in my late twenties," he said.
"I want a good four-year career and then go for the big ones. I don't want to linger around.
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