Leigh Park light-heavyweight Joel ‘El Toro’ McIntyre pens an exclusive column in The News 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.
The second week of training camp has now passed and I’m deep into the third week now.
Last week was spent upping everything – more runs, sparring, fitness work, and time spent in the gym.
I went to Wales for sparring with Jamie Cox – a former world title challenger – and Kody Davies – an unbeaten super-middleweight.
We took the whole of Team Wiseman there for the day.
Since my last column, there has been a whole lot more aerobic work to suit the format of the Ultimate Boxxer tournament.
The competition will consist of three three-minute rounds, so to prepare I have been mixing up the training to include a couple of intense days per week and a couple of longer days.
The prize money for the winner is £50k, which is obviously life-changing money for my family and I, so I plan to leave everything I have in the ring on November 2.
I mentioned last week that I have a son, Lucas, who’s nine.
I have been engaged for a number of years now, I actually proposed by mistake after one too many beers at a charity ball!
I somehow bid for and surprisingly won a wedding package in a charity auction which turned out to become an unexpected, impromptu proposal!
I am an ambassador for The Amelia Mae Foundation, whose mission is to support families affected by Neuroblastoma.
My old trainer runs the charity and I became a representative after I met a few of the affected children at a Leeds hospital and found it so heartbreaking.
I have since given my support to raise money at their auctions and help increase awareness wherever and however I can.
I also work with Active Communities Network, which helps to support wayward kids through sport.
This is also very close to my heart. Whenever they call me up and ask me to speak to the kids they’ve got, I always drop everything to do it straight away.
I talk to troubled children of different ages that can relate to me as someone who has been there and done that.
I was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment when I was 20, so I would’ve benefitted from that at their age.
I wouldn’t listen to anything back then so I’m on their level and I understand completely what they’re experiencing and can offer some valuable advice to keep them out of trouble.
I’m proud to give back and to be able to use my position as an English champion to show what can be achieved.