When I was young I wanted to start boxing as a way to get closer to my grandfather, who was himself a boxer in his younger years. I didn’t get the chance to spend much time with him and I wanted a way to feel that connection.
My early years were not easy. My parents divorced when I was young and I repeatedly found myself placed in state care. I did not have positive supportive people around me and in my adolescence I did… let’s say, some stupid things. Some bad things. But that is all behind me.
I played rugby as a youngster and actually had hopes of going professional but in my late teens I started boxing and that just took over. I had a great feeling from it; it brought a structure to my life that I didn’t have before and it just made me feel good.
What motivates me is that I want to make my wife and daughter proud of me and that I know my grandfather also would be proud. I feel a connection with him even though I cannot talk to him. He passed away some years ago but through [kick]boxing we are still close in a way.