Leigh Park light-heavyweight, Joel ‘El Toro’ McIntyre, pens an exclusive column to give readers a unique insight into his life as a professional prizefighter as he prepares for the biggest test of his eight-year career when he enters Ultimate Boxxer II at The Indigo at The O2 on November 2.
Training is still going good, it’s always the easiest part of camp, to be honest.
Juggling the home life and getting the balance between work, family and training is the hardest part.
Once upon a time, I would have said that food and dieting was the toughest part of the sport.
Many boxers would pick that as the toughest part of being a professional boxer, but I’m in good habits now and it’s never an issue for me.
Each camp you experience improves each time and it all becomes more natural – not easy, it’s never easy – to do everything that’s required to build the machine for battle.
It’s personal life that’s always the biggest sacrifice and difficulty.
The time you miss with family and friends, you can never get back.
Work and training take up everything I do, and the only time you get to enjoy life is in-between training for fights, which is only ever a couple of weeks at most.
After my next fight on November 2, I’ve got Saturday and Sunday off then I’m back in the gym for my English title fight on December 1.
I’ve had 10 years of missing out on seeing family and friends, going out and enjoying life.
I have never been on lads holiday before, and it’s too late to ever have one now!
All my friends are getting married and going on stag dos, but I always have to decline and miss out.
At this point in camp, under two weeks to go, I’m wound up, fed up, bored of training and just want to fight.
But I’ve been here so many times, it gets easier to deal with, but it is never nice.
To be completely honest, it’s horrendous! I wouldn’t wish this life on anyone!