TOOWOOMBA'S international boxing ranks are set to grow in 2013 when Englishman Darren "Dazzling" Askew makes his ring debut for Smithy's Gym.
Askew arrived in Toowoomba three months ago and has agreed to a three-year training and management deal with Brendon Smith.
The 28-year-old southpaw is expected to return from a lengthy ring break early in the new year.
Also joining the Smith team is Brisbane-based fighter Sammy Leone who is looking to kickstart his career with the signing of a three-year management deal with Smithy's Promotions.
Leone, a former amateur national indigenous champion, is trained by Wayne Spencer.
"I haven't had a fight for over a year, and I'm hoping by signing with Brendon he can get my career going again," Leone said.
"I've heard good stuff about him and I'm looking forward to getting back into action around March."
Askew has a six-win, six-loss and one-draw record as a professional after more than 60 amateur fights in countries including Canada, Denmark and Ireland.
He was awarded the Sportsmanship of the Year Award by the British Boxing Board of Control in 2009.
Askew views his Toowoomba move as a second chance at fulfilling his ring potential.
"Initially I needed a change of lifestyle after living with the wrong type of people as far as my boxing future was concerned," Askew said.
"Toowoomba reminds me a bit of my hometown, and it's exciting to be here working with Brendon.
"I've been out of the ring for about 16 months and I've been missing it.
"I wasn't in very good shape when I arrived here, but I'm starting to get there now.
"Things are going fantastic here for me. I'm living the dream."
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