The power of boxing has never been more evident than when observing the changes Jermaine Osbourne-Edwards has made to his life.
It will be time to take it all in when he’s a part of BCB Promotions’ show in Wolverhampton, at the Hangar Events Venue (Pearson Street), when fight night arrives on Friday October 1.
The former gang member grew up on the nearby Dovecotes estate, in the suburb of Pendeford, where a criminal past left him facing a bleak future.
He walked into Merridale Boxing Club looking to direct his aggression and started fighting in the ring, something he proved to be formidable at.
His amateur career only took in 10 contests, but he won nine of them with seven ending by TKO. Aspirations to turn pro grew from there and heightened when he met Richie Carter. The latter leads Richie Carter’s Pro Boxing Stable, based at Wolverhampton Boxing Club, where Osbourne-Edwards has whipped himself into fantastic shape.
The 32-year-old super lightweight has become determined to stay on the straight and narrow, both for himself and for his family.
As a popular ticket-seller, Osbourne-Edwards believes his pro debut is just the start of a new journey, that will only gather pace with success.
He said: “Boxing has been a life-changer, for me, and I could have been in prison by now, without it. I was in gangs, when I was younger, with the police on my back, all of the time. “In the past year, Richie (Carter) has helped me to become a pro and doors have started to open. I wish I’d done this a long time ago. He’s been in my corner.
“Nothing matters to me, anymore, apart from boxing and looking after my two beautiful children. I used to get up to all sorts, now I don’t even drink anymore.
“I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety, which turned into anger, but I’ve channeled that into my training. I’ve become spiritual, too, and I feel like a new man.
“I’m never going back to my old ways, I’m only moving forward. I put my hands up, for the things that I’ve done in the past, and made peace with myself.
“Boxing has been a blessing, I was an amateur for four years but I didn’t have the hunger that I do now. I was half-hearted back then.
“I had a coach at Merridale, Paul Smith, who died from cancer last year and that broke my heart. The last thing he ever told me was not to stop boxing.
“That’s what I’m going to do – carry on until I’ve got nothing left. If I have it my way, I’ll have a pro career that lasts a good few years, but I have to start quickly.
“I need to come out of this with a belt, at least, and I know that I’m going to have to work very hard to get there. That’s the way it should be, because there are no shortcuts in life.
“With me being 32, I haven’t got much time to waste and I just want to get stuck in, keep active and be in as many fights as I can. Just to be there, for my debut, means a lot to me. “I’ve sold over 170 tickets for the show, so I’ll be in full warrior mode and I want to show everyone my skill. If I’m going to become a big deal, this is where it starts.”
The show is topped by Conah Walker versus Jamie Stewart for the Midlands Area Welterweight Title.
The undercard is stacked with local talent with Wolverhampton’s Kirstie Bavington, debutants Ollie Cooper (Cannock), Lewis Morris (Walsall) and Alex Round (Wednesfield) are all in action alongside Dudley’s Ethan Collins
All boxers weigh-in at The Hangar on Thursday at 1:30pm. The event is free to the public to attend and we’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to what is fast approaching a SELL OUT Show!
VIP Tickets for the Hangar bill have all sold out and there will be no ticket sales on the evening. A handful of standard tickets priced at £40 plus booking fee are available from MyFightTickets.com.