Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to Japan.
I’m originally from the U.K. and have lived in Japan for ten years. I am managing an IT recruitment team at a global firm called Morgan McKinley. It’s a long story why I’m here, but if I were to trace it back it started with David Beckham’s goal against Greece in 2001 and a bet with a friend that made me come here. And after that, I fell in love with the place.
Do you have any experience fighting prior to Executive Fight Night?
I do indeed. I fought as the Meguro Mauler in 2013. I lost on points, but it changed my life. I also did karate for five years when I was younger.
Is this your first time participating in EFN? Why did you decide to step into the ring this year?
I stepped into the ring to get fit, but mainly to fight for people less fortunate than me.
Tell us about your training for the fight. What were your expectations going in? How has the training differed from what you expected?
The training is first-class. Jan Kazuba has been coaching me for two years now, and I’m a fitter and better person for it. I knew it would be hard coming in simply as I have done it before, but there are also some new training methods being introduced all the time. On top of the training, I am cycling 100k every weekend for another charity initiative.
Please explain the process of training, the steps you have gone through each week, and how that preparation has progressed as you’ve gone deeper into training.
Firstly, I am being very careful as to what I am eating and drinking. Alcohol is pretty much a no-no for me, although I let myself go a bit last week for fellow fighter Jackie Alexander’s birthday. I do a lot more CV work these days, and maintain a good balance of protein and carbohydrates in the foods I am eating. For the training, it’s a mix of sparring, shadowboxing, and intense drills every week, which is always interesting and motivating. I have actually injured my left arm slightly and have been training with one arm to err on the side of caution; but giving up is not an option. Don’t talk to me about my mouthguard though, that’s a different topic!
What has been the most difficult part of the training?
Dedicating one’s life for three months to this great event to raise awareness and money for some other great fighters who need our support. I’m a morning person, but this is early. And then doing work afterwards …
On a personal level, how has training for EFN changed you? Is there anything about your personal routine, your health, or your attitude towards work that has changed as a result?
Similar to before. Food, diet, and alcohol intake is all regulated. This would change the life of anyone. It’s amazing!
What are you expecting when you step into the ring on June 19?
I must win this fight, as I don’t want to do it again. But in all seriousness, it’s those amazing kids I will be thinking of. A young lad in Shizuoka painted me a special picture, and I will be fighting for this little angel on the night. He is seriously ill and will be on my mind. My opponent is also a good friend and, although it will be difficult, we both have great respect for each other.
Do you plan to participate in EFN again next year or sometime down the road?
This unfortunately is my second and last time. I’m getting too old to be hit around the head these days. Although, who knows? If I lose this one, I may be begging for a place. My bucket list includes winning a boxing match.
Do you have any advice for someone considering trying out next year?
This is a great event which should not be taken lightly, even if it is for fun. You will be punched and will get hurt from time to time. However, the feeling when you step out in the ring after three months of intense training is an experience you will never forget (well, depending how many times you get hit of course!) In front of 500 people, the experience is incredible and the organization of the event is absolutely first-class.