FEATHERWEIGHT Josh Wale is trading boxing gloves for blow-dryers.
The talented hopeful, who has fought for England, has signed up for hairdressing while he boxes at East Durham and Houghall Community College in Peterlee.
Like other students, the 17-year-old had to choose a second course at the college while based at its National Boxing Academy.
And Josh, who recently won a silver medal for England Under-19s at the Opal Boxing Cup in Germany, plumped for the crimpers.
He said: "The boxing academy lads gave me some stick at first, but when they saw all the girls I was working with they began to realise the salon wasn't such a bad choice after all."
Most of Josh's family work in the building industry, but his dad persuaded him to take up a trade which would keep him injury free.
The teenager, from Barnsley, said: "It will be a little while before I'm ready to give my mates a shampoo and trim, but they are lining up already for their first hairdo.
"At least I will have a second string to my bow when it comes to choosing a career."
Josh's coach David Binns said: "Josh is a great lad who works hard in the gym and his opponents shouldn't underestimate his strength and skill."