ON a Middlesbrough matchday Will Howe works pitchside - and as he looks out on what is before him, he envisages himself topping a boxing bill at the Riverside Stadium in the not too distant future.

That's the dream for the 'Boro Balboa'. Howe's name is already recognised and respected in boxing circles thanks to his impressive amateur pedigree - and now he's ready to make his mark in the heavyweight professional ranks.

With the hugely respected Peter Fury - the uncle of Tyson - in his corner and having already turned the heads of some of the most dangerous heavyweights on the domestic scene in sparring, Howe will set out on his pro journey when he makes his debut on the undercard of Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jnr's rematch in Manchester on July 1.

It's quite the stage for an introduction to the pro ranks for Howe and has the makings of being a huge night. Savannah Marshall is on the bill, rescheduled from mid-June due to a minor injury sustained by Liam Smith, with the Hartlepool boxer challenging undisputed world super-middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the unified WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF world 168lb titles.

For Howe, it's just the start, and if the Teessider lives up to his promise, it'll be a career worth following closely.

"I'll give the fans entertainment," says the 21-year-old, who on a Boro matchday works as part of the pitch incursion team at the Riverside.

"It'll be knock out or get knocked out. I throw the punches, I keep coming, I know if I land I'm going to hurt you, I won't be looking to win on points.

"I feel a million percent suited to the pro game and the fans will always want to tune in because they know they're going to be entertained.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I'll win this and win that but I want to be remembered as a great fighter. It would be lovely to win a world title, but I want to entertain. And I'd love to fight at the Riverside, that would be a dream. When I'm working matchdays, I find myself imagining what it would be like.

"I'm only 21 but I'm ready for the pro ranks. It's what I've wanted to do since being a young kid. I've been blessed, I have the opportunity of a lifetime. I've been blessed with a good chin, a good shot, I train well, I'm ready."

Howe trains like he talks - very well.

Indeed, it was his attitude and application in the gym that caught the eye of trainer Fury and led to the pair linking up.

Howe made a big impact in a short space of time in the amateur ranks. He started when he was 14 and quickly scooped up four English titles, three British titles and was a two-time European bronze medallist.

When Peter's son Hughie - a former world heavyweight title challenger - was preparing to go in against American Michael Hunter, Howe was identified as the ideal sparring partner. He impressed and in time conversation turned to the Teessider's plans for the future. It was agreed he'd go pro, which meant Howe relocating to Fury's gym - literally. Five days a week, he lives in a room in the back of the gym in Fury's Macclesfield training base.

"There isn't much to do, it's really back to basics," explained Howe.

"But that's the way I like it. I just train, sleep and recover. It's regimented, it requires sacrifice, but I know where I want to go and what I want to achieve in the sport so I'll do what it takes."

He returns home to Teesside to spend time with his family and to work Boro matchdays as part of the Close Protection Security team. Not only did the company's managing director Glenn Bartlett put Howe through various courses and qualifications, he gave the young prospect a job when he was 18 - and sponsors him.

Glenn is not only a boxing fan but knows the sport and the industry well. He is the manager of fellow North-East heavyweight Steven 'Disney Drago' Robinson, who is only seven fights into his professional career but is already a television regular.

Glenn said: "I was first introduced to Will when he was 18 and was instantly struck by his attitude, ambition and work ethic.

"He's got a huge future in the sport, I'm sure of that. I'm sure I'll watch him walking out at the Riverside Stadium one day."