“Thinking of what you are going to do after you retire from boxing while you are still a fighter is a big mistake." This statement, said by many, is bullsh*t! I often heard this when I was fighting and also from a few fighters I’ve had on my podcast. I do get why people say it - because if you take your eye off the ball and think too far ahead, you could forget about what’s in front of you. This is important because when you are fighting you need to focus fully on fighting. But with that being said, fighters have a lot of downtime, and I mean a lot. This is when they should be thinking about their future and looking at creating another source of income. A boxing career can end with a click of the fingers - mine did. Well, it was a crack in the knuckle, not a click of the finger. One fight, one spar or a dodgy training session could end your career and if you don’t have a plan B then you are kinda screwed. Boxers, like myself, are getting into teaching boxing for fitness after their career or think they'll just open a gym, but to do this correctly takes time to plan, or that could be a failure too. It’s important that fighters do two things with their money before they spend it: Number one is paying taxes. I’ve witnessed fighters in the past get screwed after their careers because they never paid taxes; open a business, hire a good accountant and get some education with it yourself. Don’t worry, they can write a lot of stuff off, but trust me, this is a must! Number two is investing your money. I only had 10 pro fights but I managed to buy five houses. I put 25% down on properties around £55k-£70k in worth, got tenants in and set up a repayment over 15 years. By the time I’m 40 they will all be paid off and would have gone up a lot in value, so this will be my pension. This security helps me sleep at night. There are other things to invest in too, you just have to be smart about it. It’s a strange world out there after boxing. We dedicate our lives to the sport, but we need to make sure we are sorted for life after fighting and by thinking of your future, you are doing that!
I received this cut from a deliberate headbutt in my eighth professional fight. After the fight, the doctor who stitched me up didn’t do the best job. There were a few fighters who were cut on the show and with him being the only doctor sowing up the scars, I think he was rushed, so he didn’t do a great job. Fast forward six weeks to my next training camp for my next fight which was scheduled in another eight weeks and I flew back to LA where I trained with Tommy Brooks. I started training and everything was going great for two weeks, then as soon as I sparred the cut started to bleed a little. It had a load of scar tissue around it and never heeled probably because of the doctor's botched job after my previous fight. Still, I continued to train and for my next sparring sessions one of the old-school trainers came up with an idea that he said would help prevent the cut reopening. The idea was to cut a hole in a sponge, put it on my scar with the scar being in the middle of the hole, wrap a bandage around it and then put my head guard on top of it. To be honest, I felt pretty stupid having a big bandage around my head, but what the hell, I gave it ago as I only had six weeks 'til my fight. To my surprise, the old-timer's trick worked and I was back to sparring for a couple of weeks. I was very happy with this because Evander Holyfield was in camp at the same time as we shared the same trainer and I had been told I was going to be sparring with him. This made me nervous but very excited, but then the sparring session before I was about to spar with Holyfield the cut burst open, blood dripped all down my face; the sponge must have moved under the head guard. I was gutted! Not only did I miss the chance to share the ring with one of the greatest fighters of all time, but this camp had made a MASSIVE hole in my pocket! I was due to be paid $32,000 for the fight but it was off! I’d put around $8,000 of my money into my training camp with flights, hotel, food, flying my sports scientist out and putting him up, and then other expenses such as massages, equipment, car rentals etc. It was all down the drain! CONTINUE READING IN COMMENTS BELOW!