FORMER SUCCESSFUL AMATEUR Jonathan Kumuteo is set to turn professional under the promotional guidance of Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions.
The 24-year-old DR Congo-born welterweight will enter the pro ranks working from the Bushey base of trainer Josh Burnham.
Preparing to embark on his professional journey working hard in solitary at his gym, Kumuteo insists the launch of his career and continued development couldn't be in better hands. In his first interview as a Queensberry fighter, Kumuteo spoke to Dev Sahni here.
"It means a lot because signing with Queensberry and Frank means I am with one of the biggest companies in the UK and Europe. To have the platform and backing is a dream come true."
Kumuteo, who describes himself as 'an aggressive counter-puncher' enjoyed success in the amateur ranks with victory in the London Novice u20 championships and was a finalist in the National Novice championships, clocking up 28 fights as an amateur.
However, his amateur experience was punctuated by the suffering of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, (HS), which is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, for a little over four years.
The condition affected his ability to compete in tournaments, as well as his availability to accept international recognition by both England and DRC.
"I started boxing in 2012 and it affected me for over half of my amateur career," explained Kumuteo, who hails from Finchley. "I had three operations, the most recent being in November 2018, which I have fully recovered from.
"The first operation was minor, but the second was a particularly depressing time where I lost all my strength and literally had to rebuild from scratch. I remember first going back to the gym when I couldn't even bench-press ten reps with no weights.
"I still boxed and lost in the London Alliance finals before following up with my dermatologist to determine the best course of action with regards to boxing again. The skin around my under arms was very weak and would always tear open.
"Sometimes I could train and sometimes I couldn't. In my opinion I should have had at least 60-plus bouts in the amateurs but wasn't able to due to all the time out.
"I was then advised I would need skin graft surgery if I wished to pursue a boxing career. I recovered for three months and have been in the gym ever since February 2019 training for my professional debut.
"When having to go through the pain I had to go through and still boxing for four years I found there were people going through similar situations and winning with it. When I found this out I stopped complaining and got on with everything.
"Now I am completely healed and free from medication I feel I am going to be unstoppable because if I can win the London Novice championships taking heavy medication every day, what would I have been like now that I am good?"
It was a similar will to win and an insatiable competitive streak that first led him to lacing up and stepping into the ring in the first place.
"As a youngster I was always highly competitive and if there could be a winner - in whatever it was - I always wanted to win.
"A friend of mine challenged me to spar him down at the local boxing club and initially I wasn't interested. I decided to give it a go after a few more challenges and I fell in love with sport instantly and joined Finchley ABC."
When he is not boxing, Kumuteo, who enjoys a sizeable following on social media thanks in no small way to sharing his experience of HS, likes to turn his hand to creative forms of media to share with his followers.
"I put that down to being creative and always thinking outside of the box. I am actually interested in photography and videography and I like to cast myself as being creative. I am always studying anything to do it, whether it be in sport, fashion and whatever.
"My own Instagram page is unlike anyone else's and I call it a seamless feed because all my images connect. No matter image I upload, it is almost like a collage and whatever the size the images all connect one by one.
"I hope my boxing is seamless as well," he continued, adding in a career goal for good measure.
"I know I can perform and I have the potential. With the right team, like Frank Warren and Queensberry, I believe I can go all the way.
"I have been training and the bag has become my best friend during lockdown. I am ready to go."