I love boxing. To me it is not a brutal display of force but a competiton of skill and mind. It has fascinated me for the last 7years of my life and become an integral part of my London world. I have been lucky enough to train as an amateur under two of the most amazing coaches in the sport- Andre Olley and Jimmy Tibbs. Peacock Gym provided a home and structure at a time when i needed it most. I stopped boxing after 3years in the game when i punctured my kidney. I was heart broken to no longer be a fighter. I couldnt face the gym that i loved or the people that had taught me so much and so i stayed away for the best part of 6months. I returned shakily one day to say hello, embarrassed by my demise, and was greated with the same love and friendship. Under Andres guidance I took over teaching the beginners and after a year i went on to take my coaching exams at the legendary Lynn Gym in south London (a certain Lloyd Hunnigan was there too taking his exams). Andre gave me a lifeline by making me become a coach, he not only forced me to regain my own boxing prowess but he allowed me a life long relationship with the sport.
A couple of months ago, admist the 6am runs in the cold, i began to train again. Back i went into the world of mouth guards, spit buckets and cracked knuckles. I did it because i needed to know that i could. I needed confirmation, in the only form i understand, that i had regained my former fitness and strength. I needed to know that two years of illness were a thing of the past and would not stand in my future. In the last 6 months i have competed in 10 fights and won 8 of them. Last week however I officially retired as a boxer. I have had my moment and it is time to move on. My record stands to be what urban myths are made of.
What concerns me the most? That perhaps I will no longer be able to be introduced at parties as Yolly the boxer but rather just as Yolly. Instead now i have to hope that i have enough strings in my bow to ensure the same rapture. It is now a time to look forward and to build a career and future around the things that matter most to me: Empowerment through health and fitness and hopefully in doing so ill find another USP