Henry Turner chose his nickname after spending his childhood helping his family run funfairs up and down the country but ‘The Showman’ is beginning to live up to the moniker in the boxing ring.

“As a kid, it’s the life you dream of. You go out and see your friends and have fun around the fairs,” Turner, 12-0 (4 KOs) told BoxingScene. “As I grew up and took to the boxing, my mum and dad haven’t been able to carry it on as much. Obviously we’re still in the showman community and we still all know each other really well. I’m representing the showmen. All my best friends are still running fairs and waltzers. We’re still very close to it. My sister married into the fairs so she’s still doing it strong.”

The unbeaten super lightweight ran shooting games, walked the waltzers and sold sweets and candy during his time on the fairs but is now succeeding in a much more dangerous game. He has smoothly built an unbeaten 12-fight record and moved steadily up the British 140lbs rankings over the past 12 months by beating solid domestic operators like Tom Farrell and Billy Allington. Turner is a slick boxer with improving power. He has stopped three of his last four opponents and is developing into a well-rounded fighter. Now, the 23-year-old stylist needs to continue building experience. 

This weekend, he takes on Colombia’s Maykol Mendoza, 16-4 (14 KOs), at London’s York Hall.

“The last two fights have been domestic fights and I’ve stepped it up every single time. I was supposed to be fighting another domestic kid on this show – a 16-0 boy [Brad Townsend] – but unfortunately he pulled out with an injury so I’m fighting a Colombian kid who can punch a bit. He’s had 16 wins out of 20 and 14 knockouts. It’s another dangerous fight but these are the fights you need to take to get where you need to be,” Turner said.

“I’ve worked my way through who he’s beaten and everybody he’s knocked out and if I’d boxed them people, I’d have an unreal knockout record too. That’s how I look at it. Obviously you’ve gotta be a bit cautious because he can obviously punch a bit otherwise he wouldn’t be knocking people out.”

Although Mendoza arrives as something of an unknown quantity, British fight fans need little reminder of the danger posed by big punching Colombians. The 23-year-old was born in Barranquilla; the same city that Breidis Prescott grew up in. Prescott, of course, came from nowhere to shockingly knock out Amir Khan inside a round in Manchester back in 2008.

Turner will be well prepared for whatever Mendoza brings. He trains alongside red hot British and Commonwealth lightweight champion, Sam Noakes. Noakes challenges Yvan Mendy for the European title on Saturday’s bill and the two have shared countless rounds helping each other. 

“I watched a bit of him and he isn’t as aggressive. He punches off the back foot a bit,” Turner said. “I boxed an Argentinean kid before with a good knockout record and he was aggressive and came forward. I’ve had it before and I’ve had plenty of aggressiveness in the build up to this fight. I was supposed to be fighting Bradley Townsend who’s aggressive and orthodox so I sparred Sam Noakes for eight to 10 weeks so if he wants to come forward, I think I’ll be alright. You can’t get more aggressive than Sam Noakes.”

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