As important as patience is inside a boxing ring, Mike Wilson has been forced to learn the virtue from outside the ropes.

As important as patience is inside a boxing ring, Mike Wilson has been forced to learn the virtue from outside the ropes.

The 26-year-old Central Point native, who signed a professional boxing contract in February, is finally making his pro debut Saturday night in Tunica, Miss.

"It's been kinda a long time in the making," says Wilson, who competes in the heavyweight division. "Professional boxing, that's just the way things go I guess."

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Wilson will face Tennessee resident Marvin Hunt, whom Wilson estimates is 35 years old, 6-foot tall and 210 pounds. The four-round fight, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Central Time (5 p.m. Pacific), will also be shown live on either www.prizefighttv.com or www.gofightlive.com.

"He's real experienced," Wilson says of Hunt. "The guy I'm fighting has about 36 fights already. He has a losing record, but he's fought a lot of talented guys."

The buildup for Wilson's debut has been anything but smooth.

His initial fight was scheduled for the end of April, but it fell through at the last moment. Then, in late May, Wilson cut his eye while sparring, which forced him to cancel approximately a week before what would have been another debut fight.

"It's just frustrating, but it just goes with the territory," WIlson says. "You just gotta roll with it.

"This is the hard part of your career, starting out, trying to get fights. I've got a real polished amateur background. So it's hard to get fights because people already know who you are."

Wilson claimed two U.S. Championships and narrowly missed advancing to the 2008 Olympics. He estimates his amateur record was 120-40.

Since he turned professional and hired a manager, Wilson has been without a promoter, which has hurt his opportunities to compete. Since Prize Fight Boxing out of Southaven, Miss., is putting on the event Saturday, Wilson views this as a chance to shine.

"Promoters do all the shows, and if you've got a promoter, they'll keep you busy all the time," Wilson says. "We've been just kinda shopping around for a promoter.

"If (Prize Fight Boxing) likes what they see, they'll probably come with a contract offer. This is a pretty legit promoter group. They do a show about every month."

Wilson, who describes his boxing style as "adaptive," is now staring at a huge opportunity.

"I'm just real adaptive," Wilson says. "I just do what's necessary. I'm really looking forward to it."

Even waiting, which was necessary to secure this opportune moment.

Reach reporter Shawn Miller at 776-4469, or e-mail sports@mailtribune.com