Friday, 20 December 2013

TITLE Boxing Gloves - Review

Title Professional Training Boxing Gloves - 

16oz - YELLOW

If you're new to boxing and are looking for an all round boxing glove then this is a great purchase!

I would recommend these gloves to any beginner because they are only £20 and aren't too badly put together, especially not for someone who is just learning the basics and doing a few sessions a week.
The 'Title' brand is quite a well known boxing brand and these gloves themselves are value for money.
I have tried and tested these gloves myself, as have a few of my training partners and also a few of the junior boxer's at my club. Here are a few negatives and positives that we've found with the 'Title Professional Training Boxing Gloves'...

- They look old school and basic - ideal for a training glove!

- They're snug fitting. The pair that I reviewed are 16oz, smaller sizes would be a bit tighter, but not too tight, and personally I like a tight fitting glove, as do the majority of fighters.

- There is a fair amount of padding on and around the thumb, meaning your thumb is well protected.

- The glove has been constructed similarly to the 'Everlast - Hook & Loop' gloves, which could favor a 'puncher'.

- Title are a respectable boxing brand.

- Ideal for a beginner.

- Inexpensive.

- There are air holes on the palm side of the glove, allowing your hands to 'breathe'.

- They come in a glove bag, meaning you can keep them together and tidy.

12oz Everlast Hook & Loop, next to 16oz Title Pro Training gloves
- There is hardly any wrist support, a lot of boxer's like their wrists to be supported and personally, wrist support is something I would advise. So, the lack of wrist support in these gloves lets them down a little.

- The padding was slightly, slightly uneven on the pair I got. Once worn in, they will more than likely settle and even out!

- The gloves do look a little on the cheaper side, but that shouldn't put you off.

- I haven't used the gloves enough to see if they're that durable, but from inspection, I'd say that they aren't hugely durable, but if you're starting out in the sport they should last you a fair while!

- Slight discoloration on a tiny part of one of the gloves.

So, overall, I actually really like these gloves. Unlike a lot of 16oz gloves they don't look too bulky, they fit well and are great value for money in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend these gloves to anyone who trains and competes regularly unless they were used specifically for one thing such as bag work or sparring, I like to train in heavier gloves, hence, why I review a lot of gloves in 16oz, but I think these would be just as good if not better at a lighter weight from a 10oz-14oz.

For a beginner, they are great gloves and I'd recommend them! They're well padded and look really cool, also after getting a few of the junior boxer's I train they said that they felt really light and that they look like nice and 'cool' gloves.

Here are some ratings, based on my own opinion...

- Looks: 4/5 - look really cool and old school, but could look a bit better.
- Comfort: 4/5 - really pretty comfortable.
- Price: 5/5 - great value for money and well worth it
- Durability: 3/5 - haven't had them long enough to tell really, but they are probably durable for a beginner, but for anyone who is training near enough every day, they look as though they won't hold out for too long.

The gloves also come in a variety of colours, such as:
- Blue
- Green 
- Black
- Red

Price also varies with colour chosen.

You can find the gloves here, at Sports Direct:

Browse the website, to find the different colours. I highly recommend these gloves to anyone starting out in the noble art of Pugilism!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Boxing News!

Hi all,

I'm delighted to say that I've had a really good few weeks!! Two weeks ago, I met Carl Froch and George Groves at Sky Sports Studios and am going to be on a special Sky Sports programme in December. I won't go into too much detail about that and I will leave that for another time, but make sure to keep an eye on Sky Sports in December time to catch me on T.V after an extra-ordinary day! :-)

In other news, I had a really nice week away with my girlfriend and her family, only to find that I was in the Boxing News on Thursday 7th November, with an article about me and my fight with cancer and how I kept on boxing. For all my readers I think that this would be a great thing for you all to read, so if you can get a copy of that edition of Boxing News then please try to. I wont post the article as I'm not 100% sure if I am allowed, due to legal stuff, but I will post the headline and picture.

I was really, really grateful for the article and it was great to read. It is something that I will keep with me forever and look back at throughout my lifetime and my boxing career. That is one of my life goals ticked off - being in Boxing News! :-)

Thanks guys,


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Slow progress...

Hi guys!

So today I got my business cards through! I say this is slow progress because now I have something like this I can get myself out there and advertise my motivational speaking services a bit. 

I have a talk lined up for November at my former secondary school and I'm really looking forward to it! If anybody local to me wishes for any business cards of mine that they can distribute to those who may be interested then please let me know. 

Finally, I would just like to leave you with another picture which a friend of mine uploaded to Facebook this evening. It meant a lot to me and I think it's brilliant!! It's from the App 'bit strips' 

Thanks for reading this short post. :-)

Take care!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Bryanston School - Feedback from Students

After Jackney and I did our first motivational talk to over 100 year 13 students at The Bryanston School, we were delighted to have received some brilliant feedback! Here is the feedback that I received...

"Hi Tyler, 

I would just like to thank both you and jack for your incredibly inspirational talks at Bryanston on Saturday. I know I was one of many who sat in your talk trying my hardest to hold back the tears (and trust me I never cry) as you both shared such amazing, brave stories, stories that a lot of us would find hard to relate to, as we have been fortunate enough to live, work and grow up in 'the Bryanston bubble'. 

I just wanted to let you both know the impact that both your talks had on me. I walked out feeling very lucky with what i have in life and it has definitely taught me to stop moaning and grumbling about petty little problems which in no way could really ever compare to what you two have faced. 
You say on your blog that your aim is to help and inspire other people and you have definitely inspired me.
I hope you reach your dream of being a world champion kick boxer. Never give up."

"Hello, The talk you gave on Saturday was very inspirational to all of us. The mix of humor and emotion was entertaining and very motivating, achieving my aims suddenly became a much more plausible option! The whole thing about 'reaching your dreams' always seemed to me to be quite a clich├ęd expression, but when you hear about real people aiming high and doing extremely well with their pursuits, certainly made me realise that it is possible for me to do myself.I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and I shall keep up with you on your blogs.I wish you two the best of luck!"

"Hi Tyler
I am in year 13 at Bryanston, and I wanted to thank you for the talk that you and Jack did last Saturday it was soooo good. It was really inspirational and I really enjoyed hearing your story.
I wish you the best for the future, and the Boxing!
Thank you so much!" 

"Hi guys, Thank you so much for a very inspirational talk on Saturday.I found it thoroughly interesting, and it made me want to find my passion and reach my own goals.Our whole year found the talk very moving, and maybe we will see you back at school some time!I hope you both reach all the goals that you wish to achieve, and goodluck with the future!"

And finally here is a message which was sent to Jackney and forwarded to me...

"As for feedback, I would love to help in any way I can after your humbling talk, but sadly there is nothing constructive to say. You were an amazing speaker, as was Tyler. You were both very confident, very amiable and had fascinating things to tell, helped in the slightest by the amazing things you both have already done. I thought you were funny when you wanted to be, but altogether fantastic motivational speakers. I can promise you that everybody left the lecture theatre with a completely changed perspective. 

Now your blogs are just as entertaining, Tyler, I have been lost for days scrolling down thought all the funny/thought provoking material you post, along with very funny photos. 
The only criticism I could think of for your one Jackney, is that you haven't posted enough! What you have done, I loved and very much want more, you both write better than half our school.

Thank you both for coming and spending your Saturday with us, and providing such a humbling speech, and for both being so kind to us in your blogs." 

Once again a massive thank you to all the students at Bryanston for making our day so brilliant!!

If anybody wishes to get in contact with me to do anymore motivational talks then please do not hesitate to contact me through my e-mail address:

Thanks guys,

Take Care!

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Hi everyone,

I was recently contacted by someone who is the Community Outreach Director for 'The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance' and they have asked me to share something with you in order to try and help increase awareness of this very rare type of cancer.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day passed a few weeks ago and I have decided to try and educate people and make them more aware about this type of cancer. Mesothelioma is a completely preventable cancer and is only caused by exposure to asbestos. As you may or may not know, asbestos has been used in buildings and other structures in the past, but through this post I hope to teach you all a little more about the disease and it's risk factors.

I'm not trying to scare anyone with these facts, simply trying to increase people's awareness and get you supporting the cause!! You can learn more about Mesothelioma and the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance by going to their website:

Thanks guys,

Take Care.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bryanston School - Motivational Talk

So, the day started at 5:30am for both me and Jackers and we caught the 7am train to Gillingham. Where were we off to?
BRYANSTON, DORSET - to do our first motivational talk to the year 13 students at the school.

After a long train journey full of banter, some reading and writing in my vision book we arrived at Gillingham, where we met friend Mark who took us to the school itself. We rocked up to a big concrete archway reading 'Bryanston' - I think that was enough for us to realise that this place was going to be a hundred times bigger and grander than our old secondary school...
After a 2-3 mile drive we finally got to the main entrance of the school (yes that's right, the school has a path for about 2/3 miles before you actually reach the main entrance).

"Woah..." is the reaction me and Jackney shared. Woah... It was huge. It looked incredible. Lovely architecture and really nice surroundings

We met Ian, the head of the sixth form, and walked into the school, again, we were taken back by the scale of this place. It was huge! The entrance was really nicely furnished, with 'posh' paintings on all the walls, it just looked proper and grand I suppose! It was completely different to what Jackney and I were used to seeing, especially seeing as we are both from a town which ranks within the top 5% of deprived areas in England. We were walking around the corridors and lots of students were equipped with Macbook's - so Jackney was delighted (he's a techy) - there were big classrooms, grand staircases and even fingerprint pads to sign in! This place was like a palace to us, mixed with a bit of Hogwarts and some technology from MI5!

Anyway, after a quick bite to eat we were taken to the lecture theatre where we prepared for the students to arrive. At around 11am they all arrived and the presentation kicked off. Coatesy did his bit about whether he thought Britain was broken or not and then introduced myself and Jackney. Jackney smashed his talk, which gave me the confidence to do the same. So, I went up and did my first motivational talk. It was a very nervous time as I haven't done anything like this in years and my confidence has already taken a knock due to cancer and it's affects, but I didn't do half bad and the response we all got from the students was phenomenal.

I spoke a lot about my dad's death, my boxing, my treatment, the side effects and my new diet. I also gave students the opportunity to see my port-a-cath in the flesh! I don't think any ladies really wanted to see, but the lads certainly did. They probably thought it was going to be all gore and gruesome...
The Q&A session afterwards was also great. We got asked some questions which put us on the spot, but we absolutely loved it and it was good to engage in conversation and answer those questions.

As each student left the room they smiled, thanked us and shook our hands which was really, really nice. It made us feel that we had earn't their respect and that they appreciated us giving up our time to try and inspire them - the little things mean the most to me, so a thank you and a hand shake was brilliant.

After the talk, we were joined by some of the sixth former's who took us for lunch. Again, the canteen was mental, it looked amazing, it was massive and boy was there a lot of food. And I love food... So, after a nice meal and a good chat to a great bunch of students. We headed off for a tour around the local brewery, which was interesting and I loved the smell. Yeast smells good... After obtaining some souvenirs, off we went back to Gillingham train station where we said goodbye to Mark and Ian and thanked them for the awesome day.

On the train journey home, myself and Jackney were talking about the day and how great it was. We have also started planning what we would like to do for future talks but also for our charity which is close to our hearts - The Royal Marsden - as you may know, I had my cancer treatment here and would really like to give something back. Therefore, Jackney and I are on a mission to try and do something small for the hospital in Sutton. We are aiming to get some iPads, tablets and kindles for the hospital - to provide patients with some extra entertainment during an already difficult time. We have also thought of several ideas with regards to future talks and I have also decided alongside my auto biography I would like to write a self-help/motivation book for cancer patients and their families.

Flicking through my vision book we both noticed some articles in there which I have written and think that it would be useful to put them out there along with their message and try help others in my situation.

So, all in all today was a bloody good day. We met some amazing people at Bryanston, got to share our messages, gained invaluable experience, have worked a few more things out and established a solid friendship. For me it is great to have got talking to another person my age who shares my drive and determination to succeed and excel in life.

Thanks to Bryanston and thanks to Ian for having us, to all the year 13's: you were awesome, thanks so much for the support and appreciation. Wishing you well for the future and please stay in touch!!!


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Back with a bang!

Hi again guys,

For anybody who likes to read my blog posts often I apologise for being out for so long, however, I've been getting back into my training, college work and life itself really!

Anyway, just over a month ago now I started getting back into training at my boxing club. Within no time really my fitness has come back - not completely but it's getting there - and I have become a lot stronger physically which I find pretty bizarre because of the effect of all the drugs and medication I was on during my treatment... However, I have a few ideas why I may be stronger than before:

  • I have gotten older so strength may be coming along with age
  • I was training during treatment so that may have had an effect
  • My build has changed slightly
  • My mental strength and attitude is on another level compared to what it was
  • I have spent almost a year now, breaking things down, focusing on technique and constantly watching and therefore, learning.
Since the end of 2012, I had to reduce the amount of training I was doing because I just couldn't manage it, so I knew something was up. Then after being diagnosed I obviously didn't train anywhere near as much as I used to, however, I was still up the boxing gym almost every week watching my team-mates train and spar, picking up things that they did well or not so well, I was also watching a lot of boxing on T.V and YouTube, so I was adding certain aspects of a variety of boxers to my own arsenal. 

To some people it may sound silly, but from taking some time out I have learnt a lot, I have learnt a lot mentally but also the things I have seen and picked up have been transferred into my own boxing. Seeing as I was breaking things down for about 6-8 months now, everything has just improved and my punches land a lot more solidly than ever before. From watching my coach and team-mates and listening to what they had to say I have carried on learning about the sport and have been able to analyse things a lot better than before and then using what they've said to help me with my own training.

Regarding my health I have lost a lot of weight, I have gone from a bald, fat teenager weighing 78kg to a slim teenager with a head full of hair weighing 70kg. That's since the end of August, so a good achievement for me! 

This is a picture of my transformation from the end of June - to end of September

Also, since my last post I have been to two awards ceremonies. I won the Young Persons Award at the Local Heroes event and was also nominated and shortlisted for an award at the British Red Cross awards. I have also been nominated for an award by a charity called Clic Sargeant which helped me during my treatment.

If you would like to hear my interview for the award then please click here and a new window will open, taking you to the 96.4 Eagle Radio website.

Whilst at the Eagle Radio awards I saw an inspiration of mine, she's a lovely young lady named Sophie. Sophie has been battling cancer for years and even had to travel to America for vital treatment, but whenever I have seen her she's been nothing but happy and always smiling, I said in the interview with eagle radio that it's so hard seeing little children having treatment for cancer and Sophie was someone who inspired me and made me realise that if this little Champion can endure all the treatment then so can I!

This is me, with Sophie and her parents Ruth and Andrew

I am very honored to have been nominated for all these awards and am also very pleased to say that I have been invited to Bryanston school to do a motivational talk to some of the sixth form students. Later on in the year I also have another motivational talk booked in and am looking to do a lot more over the next few years! I haven't done a speech in a few years since being Head Boy at my secondary school, but compared to what I have been through recently, I guess this is nothing, so I will go in and do what I have set out to do and try and inspire and motivate others.

So... College is going well, training is brilliant and I am feeling happy. Now, I just have to wait for scans and results to find out if I am technically in 'remission' as I still haven't been told yet which is very annoying! I look forward to having my port-a-cath removed and getting back to sparring and competing in boxing and kickboxing next year. I am also really looking forward to these motivational talks and hopefully they will be the first of many.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and continues to support me. 

Thanks a lot guys and take care!!

With beautiful Mum & Sister
British Red Cross - Humanitarian Citizens Award (SHORTLISTED)

I have set up a new Twitter page which I am using for my motivational speaking @tjewhite95 and if anyone is interested in getting me to do a motivational talk at their club, place of work, school, etc. then please contact me via my Twitter or e-mail:

Thursday, 5 September 2013

My video compilation

Back to Training!

Hey guys, before I say any more please check out the following link which will take you to YouTube where I have uploaded a compilation video of a few of my training sessions that I have recorded on my phone!

The other week I did some training on the Saturday and Sunday. On the Saturday I did a short kicking drill on the bag before doing 4x1 minute rounds on the pads with Jason - I felt really good and my punches were coming in harder than ever before. I have a feeling the extra power may be something to do with increased mental toughness and aggression! On the sunday I did a short sprint session finished with a short strength circuit, which was a good workout for me. On the link above the final round of Saturday's pad session can be seen towards the end.

On Tuesday I went back to the class for the first time which was great, I worked on kicking that evening and felt really good. My kicks were coming in well and my fitness wasn't bad at all for a fat boy who hasn't been able to train properly in 8 months. Then most recently today, I was boxing at the Thursday evening class and I felt good - it is the guy's who are fighting on the 14th September's last hard week of their training camp so the session was a hard one, obviously my pace wasn't as hard as theirs but I still worked my hardest and felt I coped well and ended up doing 8x2 minute rounds (3 consecutive rounds: 30 secs rest, 3:20 secs rest, 2:10 secs rest) - I felt good, my skills were good even whilst fatigued and I was feeling strong and fit!

Feel like my fitness is definitely improving alongside my strength and endurance! I can't wait to do the Strength & Conditioning session tomorrow night and watch the guys sparring. 

A lot of people say it must feel great coming back to training and YES! It really does, especially when you go from training nearly everyday for about two years, to barely training once a month. For me it's such a huge step again and I said to one of the guys this evening that it amazes me to think that in April time I couldn't walk, I was feeling awful, had so much trouble with my joints, had not one strand of hair on my head - now I am running, boxing, exercising hard, my joints and nerves are almost back fully and I have a head full of hair. It is a great feeling, feeling this well again. All I need now is some closure and the all-clear, when that news comes I will be the happiest guy in the world. Until then, I will live my life as though I am cancer free, keep chasing my dreams and training like it is my last time.

I have also decided that I would like to start doing some motivational talks and speeches, to children, teenagers, adults, professionals, the homeless, prisoners, other cancer sufferers, absolutely anyone. I want to help people, get my message and story out there, inspire and motivate - to audiences large and small, and maybe even make a bit of money from it. If anybody would be interested in contacting me to do a motivational talk then please do so without hesitation! 

My E-Mail address is: if anybody does wish to contact me, thanks for reading and for your support.

ALSO, if you haven't already please 'like' the Facebook page: Hope for Jayden - read the story.

Hope For Jayden

To any of my readers out there who use Facebook, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get on it and join the page 'Hope for Jayden' - this little guy and his family are very brave and positive and deserve as much support as they can get. 

Thanks all. 


Friday, 30 August 2013


So, after a long while not writing my blog I am back! I apologise to any of my loyal followers who have not seen any posts recently, however, I have been pretty busy!

On the 15th August I had my final session of radiotherapy, it was such an amazing feeling and as I took my final breath-hold I was celebrating in my head. I had done it, after a gruelling 7 months I had finished all my treatment. I have to say that throughout all my treatment the nurses have been fantastic, such wonderful and amazing people who made the horrible process so much more bearable and to these people I owe my life.

After the radiotherapy I met my radiotherapy consultant and he said that I will have an appointment in a few weeks and a scan in about three months time to assess my cancer and whether or not I am in 'remission'. Fingers crossed that I am, all I can do for now is wait and try and get my life back on track!

The 15th of August was a good day for me - I finished my treatment and I also bought my very first car, a 1 litre Vauxhall Corsa! I am so chuffed with it and have been out in it a few times since purchasing it, I am picking up my driving again after I decided to take a break after my diagnosis. I hope this is a sign of things finally beginning to go my way! The day after my mum and her partner organised a surprise for me, I was taken to a local Jaguar dealership and got to go out in a brand new Jaguar F-Type - with just under 500 BHP! (I was a passenger, sadly wasn't allowed to drive it...) then from there I went on to go out in an Aston Martin Rapide - which has an astonishing 550 BHP, that thing was crazy and we were driven by a former race driver, doing over 90mph around tight bends and country lanes. It was brilliant!! So, overall I've had a good few days in terms of cars, got my own and I have also been out in two fantastic sporty cars. My dad would be so jealous.

Whilst mentioning my dad I would just like to say a thank you to my close family: my mum has been absolutely amazing, without her I could never have done any of this. She has taken me to every appointment, every session of treatment and has looked after me, telling me when to take my pills and just being bloody brilliant! I always said that I wanted to be like my dad, but I also want to be like my mum - she is such an amazing person, so brave and thoughtful, caring and kind. She has a smile on her face 9 times out of 10 and that smile and cackle of a laugh makes me so happy and makes me incredibly proud to call her my mum! Love you mum!!

Also, my brother James has been a real help. He has helped look after my little sister whenever I have had to stay in hospital and he has been there to talk to, as well as cook some... interesting food! My little sister Rebecca is an absolute star, I am incredibly protective over her but that is because I want her to be happy and to be safe. She has been through so much in her 13 years on earth and the strength and courage she has shown is inspirational and motivates me so much. Some people call me and inspiration, well, let me tell you that, that little girl is twice as inspirational as I will ever be and she keeps me smiling. As for my dad, well... there is no way I could have come through this with the positive attitude that I have if it wasn't for him doing the same when he was ill. Also, due to my dad's passing, I joined my boxing club which has taught me so much and has allowed me to handle this whole process so well - without this I would have had an even harder time.

So, since finishing treatment I have got back to training. I have done a few little sessions of my own and next week I hope to go back to a few of the classes, obviously going at a much slower pace but slow and steady wins the race as they say. I have also enjoyed a few days out and seen a few friends, I've been out in my car and I have been helping train the junior boxers and kickboxers at the boxing gym, I have also been trying to start a new diet including foods and drinks, high in anti-oxidants and that are 'anti-cancerous', I have been doing some research and putting together my own meals to try and help kill off those cancer cells even more and keep them away!

Anyway, after finishing treatment I will go back to see my radiotherapy and chemotherapy consultants in the first and second week of September and I think I will have a scan in around three months to see if I am in remission. Personally, I feel a lot better in myself, a hell of a lot stronger physically and I've got a full head of hair again, so I sometimes feel normal again! I guess all I can do until those scans is stay as healthy as I possibly can, get back into my training and hope that the cancer is gone. I have also heard that beating cancer is also a lot to do with the way you think about it, e.g. if you're confident that you can beat it and you keep re-enforcing that belief then you are more than likely going to beat it. I have had that attitude from the second I was diagnosed and apart from a few bad days that's the way I have always thought, but I have also started saying aloud and inside my head sometimes "cancer cells, DIE!" almost instructing the cancer cells within me to die and for the cancer to go. Whether that works or not, I'm willing to say that for a few minutes a day to try and keep that thing away!

I said in the paragraph above that I sometimes feel normal, let me explain that one a little more...

I can only speak on my behalf because I haven't actually spoken to that many people in-depth who have or have had cancer, but from the moment I was diagnosed, I stopped feeling normal. I felt almost as if I was an alien, I just felt weird and I honestly felt like all I was, was a disease. A lot of people stopped talking to me, a lot of people found it awkward as they didn't know what to say to me, but I didn't feel normal at all. I began to lose my hair, I was always feeling sick, tired and weak, I couldn't go to college that often and when I did I couldn't do all the sport like everybody else and I was getting stared at by people because it was obvious I had cancer from the way I looked. I had a port-a-cath fitted under my skin and so that didn't look very normal, I wasn't able to eat certain foods and had to be careful around anyone with a slight cold. I went from feeling normal, confident, strong, well-liked and popular to feeling embarrassed, ugly, weak, disliked, avoided, un-popular and nervous.

Since being diagnosed I wasn't able to do things that other people my age where doing, so I got left behind. I wasn't mixing with people (apart from my mum and nurses), I wasn't invited out anywhere and I have never felt so lonely in my life. I couldn't go boxing because I just physically couldn't do it. I spent almost every day for two years in that gym building great relationships with so many brilliant people and my dreams felt like they were getting closer and closer after every session, then BAM! 'You've got Hodgkin's Lymphoma' - your dreams are put on hold, they feel like they're slipping away, you're scared for the future, your scared for your family and yes, you are scared of death. Nobody can say they're not when you get diagnosed with a disease such as cancer. Of course, in my mind the only way I could fight this was by being positive and using my dreams to drive and motivate me to get through those four gruelling months of chemotherapy and then the two months of heart problems and radiotherapy.

I'm writing this and I'm not quite sure this all makes sense or fits in with this whole blog post, but what I've said here is something I have bottled up all this time and now I feel brave enough to let it all out, but I would just like to end this post with the following...

My name is Tyler White. In January 2009 the most amazing man in my life died, after a two year battle with cancer (Hodgkins Lymphoma) - this made me realise that I needed to change my life and make my dad proud, so I got in contact with a local boxing club A.R.D. Training Camp. After an initial phone call I went down for my first training session and fell in love with it, since that day I never looked back and I knew through this sport was how I was going to make my dad proud. My coach was a guy called Andre Daltrey - a 'Full Contact Kick Boxing World Champion' and I respected that and listened to everything he had to say, he spoke to the class as a whole and spoke about training more than once a week if you want to be a Champion, he also spoke about keeping a training diary. So I did. From that day, I kept a training diary and I started training 3/4 times a week. A few months after starting, two boys told me I was 'sh*t' at boxing and after that I told Andre about my dad and why I was doing boxing and I think that was probably when myself and he realised how seriously I was going to take this sport and how much I was willing to do. After a while, my fitness was amazing compared to what it had been, I started losing weight and developing as a boxer and a person, then in December 2010 I was made Captain of the junior boxers at A.R.D. Training Camp.

Then, later in 2011 I really began to progress and I was given a membership to join the Senior squad and from there I met some amazing people and became known as 'Justin Bieber' (due to my Bieber haircut), 'Pacman' (because I eat everything) and finally one of the 'Maggots'. It was throughout this year especially that I learnt a lot about myself and a lot about fitness and psychology in a bit more depth. After joining in September 2011 I had my first boxing contest on 10th December 2011 and won.
Throughout 2012 I kept on improving, I was getting fitter, stronger, faster, I was hitting harder and I was developing a good style, I fought again in April and twice in September, winning those three contests all against older guys. Times were exciting, I had become Head Boy at school, passed all my GCSE's, I was becoming a good boxer and my dreams of turning Pro at 18 were getting closer and closer.

Shortly after my fourth fight on September 29th 2012, I began to get a really bad, dry cough. I assumed it was a chest infection, so went to the doctors and got antibiotics, I kept going back as the cough continued and was told that it was an infection, then that it was whooping cough, then that it was inflammation (the doctor was google-ing all of my symptoms, very professional...) - as a result, I stopped training so often (I was training 8-10 times a week!!) and it just wouldn't shift, I couldn't train as hard as I had done because the cough was too much and then I had an incredibly sharp pain in the right side of my chest. This was when I knew what it was. Around December time/early January, a lump started to emerge just to the left of my right pectoral muscle, it was sore if you pushed on it and so back to the doctors I went, insisting that it was something serious. I was sent off for a blood test and an X-Ray.

The day after my X-Ray, I received a phone call from my GP saying that there was something abnormal found in my scan. I ran upstairs and burst into tears, I knew it was cancer, I'd told myself ever since my dad passed away that I would get it, I just had a feeling. So, after a CT scan it was confirmed. I had a lymphoma. 6 by 5 inches in between my lungs, part of the tumour was resting on a vessel to my heart. So, I started the prednisolone early and started chemotherapy as soon as possible.

Then you guys know the rest, chemotherapy for four months, sickness, hair loss, couldn't walk, pleurisy, shingles. Then radiotherapy and fluid around the heart which if it wasn't drained, would have killed me. Exciting year hey?
A lot of people cannot understand cancer, especially if you've not had it yourself, but for me it was a very lonely time. I didn't mix with people because of a few reasons: I was too ill, people weren't sure whether to invite me out or not and because I was in hospital a lot of the time. However, it now feels a little more normal, but I am so out of sync with everyone my age that I often feel very out of place, I don't know what to say any more and I don't feel very liked - it often feels as though people just feel sorry for me. Believe it or not, I'm still a laugh, I still like to mess around and have fun, I'm not a nasty guy, I have changed a lot because of this experience and if people gave me the chance maybe they could see that? All that said, I have seen a few friends, but now I feel it's time to try and get back to normal and be like all the normal guys and girls my age. I just want to be normal again!

I don't quite know if I could have handled this year half as well as I have done if it wasn't for Andre and the guys at A.R.D. Training Camp - everyone there taught me so much, I have learnt a hell of a lot about myself and learnt so many psychology techniques and exercises which have helped me. Me and my mum have both admitted that if it wasn't for the boxing and all the training and support I received I probably would have struggled a whole lot more, and who knows, if it wasn't for the training maybe I wouldn't have noticed the cancer? It's heart breaking knowing your dreams may be snatched away from you, but I think I have proved that I am a fighter. I don't give up. And, I wont give up on my dreams. As I once said...

"My Dreams will become a reality - Cancer can't stop me."

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bad luck

This post is, as the title suggests, about bad luck! 

So many people complain about how much bad luck they've had, personally I always feel that despite losing my dad to cancer and then battling the disease myself, I've not had that much bad luck. Yes I will admit, that is a bit of bad luck, however, I was in the clinic today and I met an incredible young man who really has had some bad luck!

I won't use the boys name but he had headaches constantly for 6 weeks and was often being sick and doctors at his local hospital said that he was fine (I'm no doctor, but that is obviously not fine!) - it turned out that this young man had a brain tumour, covering one side of his head. This tumour has blinded him in one eye and at one time he was only given 24 hours to live. 

Luckily the chap is still with us, however, he had to have an almost 10 hour operation to remove the tumour - a major operation! After the tumour was removed he has had to and will have to endure several types of chemotherapy for over two years! He also has to have 30 sessions of radiotherapy which means going to the hospital each day Monday to Friday. 

I had chemotherapy for four months and I am having 17 sessions of radiotherapy but in comparison to that guy, that's nothing! So for that I consider myself lucky - since being diagnosed I have always told myself that someone else out there has it worse off than me and this kid was a fine example. From now on, I will use this guy and his situation to motivate me even more and to make me appreciate life even more. 

If you ever think you've got bad luck, compare yourself to this guy or someone in a similar position. Just remember however hard things may be, that someone out there has it worse and you should try to use that to motivate you to keep moving forward. 

As Sylvester Stallone says in the sixth Rocky film: "Life ain't all sunshine and rainbows"

Rocky Balboa: "Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Analyse this...

I'm going to post the lyrics from two of my favourite songs which I've been listening to a lot recently and that I have also been breaking down and analysing, these songs I feel I can really apply them to my life at the moment and the way I am feeling. This is an active post really as I'm going to ask you to analyse what you think these lyrics may mean in my eyes, or if you'd rather look at these lyrics and see what they may mean and be applied to in your life.

As you may know this is something I do very regularly and each time I listen to a song, I often find with most songs by Oasis that I can relate to them pretty well. Everybody has their own interpretation of the lyrics so there aren't really any right or wrong answers! I first started analysing lyrics after a GCSE English lesson where we were breaking down and analysing poem's, surprisingly I really enjoyed it and so as a result, I have continued that with the songs I listen to and I feel that it has helped me throughout this ongoing journey by helping me express and understand my true feelings.

Song #1 - (Live from the album, 'The Dreams we Have as Children')

'Cast No Shadow'

Here's a thought for every man
Who tries to understand what is in his hands
He walks along the open road of Love & Life
surviving if he can 

Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
Chained to all the places that he never wished to say
Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
and as faced the sun he cast no shadow 

As they took his soul they stole his pride
As they took his soul they stole his pride
As they took his soul they stole his pride 

Here's a thought for every man
Who tries to understand what is in his hands
He walks along the open road of Love & Life
surviving if he can 

Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
Chained to all the places that he never wished to say
Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
and as faced the sun he cast no shadow 

As they took his soul they stole his pride
As they took his soul they stole his pride
As they took his soul they stole his pride 

And as he faced the sun he cast no shadow


Song #2 - (Also live from the album, 'The Dreams we Have as Children')

'Listen Up'

Listen up
What's the time said today
I'm gonna speak my mind
Take me up to the top of the world
I want to see my crime

Day by day
There's a man in a suit
Who's gonna make you pay
For the thoughts that you think
And the words they won't let you say

One fine day
Gonna leave you all behind
It wouldn't be so bad
If I had more time

Sailing down a river alone
I've been tryin' to find my way back home
But I don't believe in magic
Life is automatic
But I don't mind being on my own
No I don't mind being on my own

Listen up
What's the time said today
I'm gonna speak my mind
Take me up to the top of the world
I want to see my crime

Day by day
There's a man in a suit
Who's gonna make you pay
For the thoughts that you think
And the words they won't let you say

One fine day
Gonna leave you all behind
Wouldn't be so bad
If I had more time

Sailing down a river alone
I've been tryin' to find my way back home
But I don't believe in magic
Life is automatic
But I don't mind being on my own
No I don't mind being on my own
No I don't mind being on my own
I said that I don't mind being on my own

Sailing down a river alone
I've been tryin' to find my way back home
But I don't believe in magic
Life is automatic
But I don't mind being on my own
I said that I don't mind being on my own
No I don't mind being on my own
I said that I don't mind being on my own
No I don't mind being on my own
I said that I don't mind being on my own


Enjoy analysing these lyrics and I highly recommend listening to the songs too, in my opinion they both sound amazing from the live album. Seriously give this one a go because it's really helped me and it's also interesting seeing what you get from a song.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Radiotherapy Day 6

Day 6 completed and one step closer to remission!

After another long journey to Sutton, I had a meeting with one of the Radiotherapy consultants and discussed a few things about the treatment itself. The Doctor was brilliant in explaining things to me, during my first consultation I said to him that I wanted to know everything and be told the absolute truth, I didn't want anything covered up and hidden from me. So, as a result, today he was totally honest about my treatment and about how they've had to adjust things slightly due to the whole situation with my heart. Also, although I've known about this tumour since February I have never actually been shown clearly where the tumour is in my body, so I asked him to show me and within an instant he had my last PET scan up on screen showing me it's size and location and pointed out on my body where it was. So, now finally after about 6 months of wondering, I actually know whereabouts it sits in my body and I also know where another few cancerous lymph nodes were just behind part of my collar bone.

Whilst speaking to the doctor he was very re-assuring, he said that my lymphoma has gone from 16x12cm to 12x6cm with the four cycles of chemotherapy that I had and that the majority of that lump is more than likely scar tissue, parts of the immune system and other things because the scan showed none/very little metabolic response (meaning only a small part of that lump has active cancer cells). That is why I am having radiotherapy in order to wipe out those last active cancer cells and to reduce the chances of it coming back. So, fingers crossed and just got to keep fighting!

Before the consultation I had my observations done and I was really happy to find out my resting heart rate was 68! That's so much lower than it was when I first went into the Brompton with a heart rate of 120!!! Goes to show how much my heart has benefited from the drain and that it has regained some strength, which is re-assuring for me and my boxing, health and fitness. Also, blood pressure and oxygen levels were really good.

As for radiotherapy, I again started my 'Radiotherapy' playlist on my boxing walk on song 'A.K.A - What a Life!' - the lovely ladies doing my radiotherapy both started humming along to the song saying how much they liked it, so I told them it was my walk-on song and they both said what a good choice it was (hopefully that's a few ticket sales there). Anyway, after the routine scan the treatment begun and again I had no problem with the breath holds, in fact I was taking less rest in between and as a result the session was over quicker. I did think at the beginning of the treatment "Why me? Why do I have to go through all of this?" and then I just said to myself "This struggle will make you a Champion, you will have that extra little bit of will power". I had seen some footage of a guy my age training in America, he was a Puerto Rican kid, he had loads of belts and medals and was training with the likes of Danny Garcia and Gabriel Rosado and I wont lie I was jealous, all I wanted to do was be picking up medals and belts but I know I have to get through this first and all in good time I will be at the same level as that guy and this whole process will only make me stronger and give me more desire to go further and further. I am confident that I will get far despite this setback and I will achieve my dreams. I have fought too hard not to.

So, another day ticked off and another day closer to getting back in the boxing gym where I belong. It will be so nice going boxing every day as opposed to the hospital!

Would just like to finish by saying a massive well done to all those involved in the Connaught and Calthorpe three peaks challenge, the fundraising has now surpassed the £4000 mark which is brilliant!! Also, good luck to Debby & Sam Doetsch who are doing the 'Nuts' and 'Grim' challenges in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity too!

You can donate to the schools or Debby and Sam on the links below:

Connaught & Calthorpe:

Debby & Sam:

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Radiotherapy Day's 4 and 5

So, first of all I have fallen behind with my blog a bit. I have been focusing on doing some research and training since being released from the Royal Brompton the other week and have not had much time to write many posts, however, in that time a few bits and bobs have happened so I have a bit to write about!

I had a CT Planning scan last Friday just to check that we could still go ahead with the planned radiotherapy, that all went well and I felt comfortable with all the breath holds necessary for the treatment. Afterwards, I popped up to my second home (A.R.D. Training Camp) and watched the sparring and strength & conditioning classes - it was really nice to see all the guys again and catch up with them. Afterwards I went to the local Caribbean restaurant for some Jerk Chicken with coach Andre and fellow 'Maggot' Lloyd - I have to say this jerk Chicken is awesome, in fact it's probably some of the nicest chicken I've ever had. And I eat a lot of chicken...

After a relaxed weekend, training my friend Conner (who is developing into a really good boxer) it was time to start radiotherapy again on 29th July. So, me and mum drove up to the Royal Marsden again like we have so many times this year and headed to the radiotherapy department, after signing in and a short wait it was time for me to begin my treatment again. Once in the room, I put my iPhone in the docking station and selected my 'Radiotherapy' playlist, nobody would be surprised at the fact that the only artist in this playlist was Noel Gallagher... I have all the songs from his live album 'The Dreams We Have As Children' as well as my boxing walk on song 'A.K.A. What a Life!' to start the playlist. The way I see this is that as I am getting prepared for the radiotherapy to start, my walk on song is playing, so I see it a bit like when I'm about to walk out for a boxing contest.

Radiotherapy - Day 4

So, day 4 begun and everything seemed fine. I didn't have any difficulty in taking deep breaths during or after the session so that is a positive! Not much else to say about the treatment really, other than again I was looking at my reflection on the ceiling imagining myself with a championship belt in my grip and just thinking about how I will look back on this experience once I have completed and achieved my dreams.

In the evening after the session, I got a phone call from a lady from 96.4 Eagle Radio saying that I had won an award! The award is part of a 'Local Hero's' award scheme and I am one of the two winners in the 'Young Persons Award' - so I was really quite proud of that and it meant a lot that my efforts have been recognised. Also, I have been short listed for another award in an awards ceremony for the British Red Cross - So, that's two award ceremonies I will be attending, meaning I will have to dress smart not in my typical shorts/trackies and t-shirt... Really, really pleased to have won and award and to have been short listed for another, the man who nominated me is an ex teacher and good friend of mine Mark Coates, who is one of the biggest nag's going, but it's all for a good reason! Cheers Coatesy.

'Young Persons Award - An award for inspirational Under 18's who are creating a better future. Young people who, through acts of courage, will inspire a future generation.'

Radiotherapy - Day 5

After another long journey to the Marsden, I had the same treatment and felt fine during and after again (touch wood). Throughout the treatment my 'radiotherapy' playlist was again on in the background and the whole process is starting to become quite familiar now. Today felt as if it went a lot quicker than normal, maybe that's because I am becoming more used to it, I'm not sure! After treatment today, I felt very tired and a little sick for about an hour afterwards, an early night is probably on the cards unless there's a good film on T.V!

Hopefully, if the radiotherapy all goes to plan then I will be able to get back into training with the rest of the guys, in the classes, at the boxing gym within the next 6 weeks which will be amazing. Hopefully the end is in sight and there are no more hiccups along the last stint of my journey.

I will leave you all with two images, side-by-side, comparing what I looked like in June '13 and July '13 (this month)...

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Chin ups

Before my treatment I was able to do lots of pull ups and chin ups, I was strong and I could usually do around 10 in a row without much of a struggle, but during and after my chemotherapy, where my muscles had weakened so much, I couldn't even do half a chin up. It was really quite upsetting and embarrassing going from doing 10 without any trouble to not even being able to do one in the space of a few months. For me, that showed me and proved to me just how physically weak I had become. 

Since finishing my chemotherapy I have been able to build up my training and start slowly progressing. As a result of the last few weeks of training I have got much stronger, I can really feel it and it is showing in all my exercises. I have been doing a mixture of running, cycling, strength training and boxing work all in order to rebuild lost strength and to try and get my fitness back up to a decent standard.

Yesterday evening my brother did a few chin ups on my chin up bar on my door frame, so I thought 'bugger it, why not!' And had a go, much to me surprise, I did it!! I didn't jump up to the bar either, I started with my legs crossed and pulled myself up with my arms. I was amazed and so proud of myself!

Then today, at the end of my training session I went upstairs to see if I could do it again... Not only did I do it again, but today I managed two chin ups! It certainly sounds like nothing, but to me this is a real sign that my strength has greatly improved and that I am getting back to how I used to be. 

I have also been doing press ups since starting chemotherapy alongside other exercises, but really struggled with these after a few sessions. Now, I can confidently perform 15 press ups without stopping and whilst doing so I feel strong. I have set a target to do 30 consecutive press ups by Christmas time this year as well as 10 burpees consecutively too. 

Just thought I'd share this story of progression with everyone and show other fitness freaks like myself who may be fighting cancer or any other disease, that you can still be strong and fit :-)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Dreams We Have As Children

This post is named after my favourite band: Oasis and one of their (in my opinion) best songs 'Fade Away' in which they sing the lyrics 'the dreams we have as children fade away' - now I looked at these lyrics and related myself and my current situation to them (as I do with a lot of lyrics recently), and I broke it down into two little segments:

1) 'The dreams we have as children' - This part of the lyrics is referring to my own dreams, such as becoming a World Champion. Now, I could be and I am sometimes classed as a child, however, I have had this dream since I was about 14 so this is a dream I had as a child and still have now. When listening to this song I always think of my dream of becoming a World Champion and remind myself of all the reasons why I want to achieve it and what I have done so far to help me, as well as how much it means to me and how much it would mean to achieve such a feat. This part of the song helps me to remember, think about, visualise and re-enforce my dreams and their importance to me and my life - these dreams are the things that keep me going and fuel my desire to keep fighting. So, when I'm listening to 'Oasis - Fade Away' this is what I'm thinking about - achieving my childhood dreams.

2) '...fade away' - This part of the lyrics could be seen as quite negative as it is saying that the dreams we have as children, fade away. However, I use these two words to re-enforce my desire to achieve my dreams and not let them fade into the distance. I always find a lot of people say to me "Oh yeah, I could have done/been good at this... but I decided not to because I couldn't be bothered/I was too busy messing around" and that's something I can't stand, I could not bare to be one of these people who says "I could have been" - I want to achieve something with my life and I refuse to just give up like so many people have done, and continue to do. My opinion is that life is a gift, life is precious, so why not make the most of it and achieve something amazing? Too many people let their dreams 'fade away' not enough people chase them down and pursue them!
In regards to what I was saying about life being precious, here is a quote that my coach Andre once shared with the guys at the club: 

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present."

I think it's a great quote! It also sums up what I was saying about life being a gift.

Anyway, I guess the moral of this post is to chase your dreams, and not let them fade away, because there will be no bigger regret than not giving your all to try and achieve a dream if it means that much to you. I have certainly had a lot of setbacks recently in the pursuit of my dreams, but I am not giving up and I still believe that I can do it, so if I can achieve my dreams or at least give it my best shot, then so can you. Live your life to the fullest and chase your dreams. Dreams can become a reality.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Yorkshire Three Peaks in Aid of The Royal Marsden - Oak Youth Centre

The Connaught & Calthorpe School's - Three Peaks Team
This weekend just gone, an amazing bunch of people set off on a long trek into the peaks of Yorkshire, in order to complete the three peaks challenge in aid of The Oak Youth Centre at The Royal Marsden, Sutton. For anyone who doesn't know the three peaks challenge, the aim is to climb three peaks in under 12 hours - sure, it may sound simple but there is an awful lot of training, hard work and dedication required in order to complete this tremendous challenge, not to mention the pace that the hikers have to walk at is admirable and is made harder by the uneven terrain and the varying gradients.

I used to go to The Connaught School and I know from friends who have previously completed this challenge the year before how hard it is and what sort of training has to be done, in fact the school pupils and staff members who do the challenge are trained by: Warrant Officer 1, Jon Knight, who is currently serving in the armed forces and I am absolutely certain that he does nothing less than beast them each session in order to prepare them for the challenge both physically and mentally. The team this year did the challenge in 10 hours and 37 minutes, smashing the time which was achieved last year! That just goes to show how hard these guys and girls trained and how well they worked together as a team. The beauty of this whole thing is that the people involved have made new friends, got some exercise and discipline whilst raising a whole lot of money (almost £4000 so far!!) for a cause very close to my heart.

My former teacher Mark Coates asked me to pick the charity this year and so I chose 'The Oak Youth Centre' which is part of the Royal Marsden hospital in Sutton. This centre does an absolutely amazing job in caring for tiny little children to teenagers up to 24 years old. Throughout my treatment I have seen countless children and teenagers being treated by all the amazing nurses in this brilliant, state of the art facility, I thought that I had such brilliant treatment at this place and that if I could help money be raised for any charity then it would be this one, so that other children and young adults could be treated just as well and if not better. These brave little kids fighting cancer deserve the best of the best so this charity is close to my heart because nothing tugs on my heart strings more than seeing innocent little children battling cancer and if any money can be raised then in my eyes it should go towards these little Champions.

The students doing the three peaks have seen a powerpoint that I put together for the Calthorpe school in order to inform them of cancer and why they were raising money for the RM, I have had a lot of feedback and they all said how hard it him them and how it inspired them. If I can do other things like this, such as presentations, public speaking or fundraising events then I would love to. I feel it's important to help out those facing hard times in life, like so many people have helped me and my family - the guys from A.R.D. in particular. But I also think it is so important to inform others about cancer and what it can do and ultimately how to try and face it and deal with it.

The guys from Connaught and Calthorpe have done something fantastic, they have raised an incredible amount of money and have given up their own time and effort to do so. If you would like to donate to their effort and help improve things even further at the Oak Youth Centre then please donate to the following link: - these guys have already raised an awesome amount, but even more would be great!

Brilliant work to all the guys and girls from Connaught and Calthorpe, a big thanks to Mark Coates and Steve Jones for keeping me up to date and involved with the whole process. Brilliant job guys, those little Champions will be eternally thankful and so am I.

Connaught & Calthorpe Champions!