Not the Average Joe: I am now officially retired from the sport of boxing

Boxing has been a significant part of my life for the past 25 years, starting from my first day at Malmesbury Amateur Boxing Club. It all began when my Dad introduced me to the club as a way to help me exercise my Erb’s Palsy-affected arm, as I disliked the daily physiotherapy sessions. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My Dad played a crucial role in shaping my boxing career; my family supported me wholeheartedly and it felt like they believed in me, despite any doubts. Whether they truly believed in my success at the time is uncertain, but it felt like they did, and that’s what mattered.

Throughout my amateur career, I represented Malmesbury ABC. The dedicated coaches – Tony Stannard MBE, Tony Falcone, Graham Hill, and Steve Ford – not only focused on boxing skills and winning titles but also instilled important life lessons. I achieved several victories, including National Schoolboy title, Junior ABA’s, two NACYP titles, a Four Nations gold medal, a Three Nations gold medal, and the Senior ABAs, with an impressive record of 58 wins out of 70 bouts.

Similarly, in my professional career, I remained loyal to one stable, Paddy John’s Gym in Bristol. Under the guidance of my father-in-law and trainer Andy O’Kane, I secured various titles like International Masters, Southern Area, IBO International, two English titles, and the EBU European title. I was fortunate to have strong support from my fans who travelled far to watch me fight.

While my boxing career appeared successful on the surface, I believe I could have achieved more and never truly reached my full potential in the ring due to various factors. Many may argue that, considering my disability, I actually surpassed expectations in the sport – a perspective I do not entirely share.

Retiring from boxing proved challenging, a struggle that many fighters face, including myself. Boxing was my world for the most part of my life, and transitioning away from it was a strange experience. However, I am now at peace with leaving the fighting behind me, as it has paved the way for a fulfilling life with my wife and children – the most important aspect of my life.

Without boxing, I wouldn’t have the fulfilling lifestyle, amazing friends, enjoyable job, or the chance to positively impact others, particularly those with Erb’s Palsy. I currently teach boxing as a personal trainer and coach at Paddy John’s ABC, staying connected to the sport from a different perspective and aiming to reflect on my career with gratitude in the future.

Source link