Cruiserweight prospect Lawal signed by Sauerland

Shepherd’s Bush-based boxer Mikael Lawal has been signed by leading promoters Team Sauerland.

The Nigeria-born cruiserweight, who fights out of the Stonebridge Boxing Club, has won both his professional fights in the first round and has been touted as a future world champion.

The club almost closed in 2009 but has been boosted by financial support from Team Sauerland, who also promote Hammersmith’s recently-crowned world super-middleweight champion George Groves.

Lawal, 22, said: “I’m really happy that Team Sauerland have given me this opportunity. Words can’t really describe it.

“Coming from where I come from, people don’t usually get these kinds of opportunities, so I’m going to grab it with both hands and make them proud.

“I want to repay them with a lot of success in the ring. I know I’m still young and I have a long way to go, but my plan is to dominate the cruiserweight division. I want to win all the titles.”

He added: “I can box, I can fight and I’m definitely not boring to watch.

Sauerland brothers Nisse (right) and Kalle promote a number of top fighters

“I know I’ve got a big punch, but I’m not just looking for knockouts. I’m always looking to get the rounds in and get more experience, but if the knockouts come, they come.”

Promoter Nisse Sauerland said: “I’m very happy to welcome Mikael to the team.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on his progress over the past few years and I think we’ve found a very special talent.

“He has the power and ability to go a long way in this sport, and even more importantly the dedication and will to win.

“We plan to keep Mikael busy and get him as much experience as possible.

“He is still young and needs to develop, but with our support, I believe he can become a world champion.”

‘Inspire others’

Lawal is the first Stonebridge Boxing Club fighter to turn professional – and believes others will follow.

“I might be the first to turn pro but I definitely won’t be the last,” he predicted.

“There is so much talent in the gym, and I hope I can inspire others to follow in my footsteps.”

The club’s director Aamir Ali added: “We’ve had a relationship with Team Sauerland since 2009.

“Nisse Sauerland came to us after seeing a story in the newspaper about the gym closing down, and has supported us ever since.

“They’ve kept us going, they’ve kept us alive and they’ve been a big part of Stonebridge Boxing Club, and one of the products of this is Mikael.’’