Liam Edmunds has turned tragedy on its head to forge an unlikely path towards becoming a professional boxer.
That becomes a reality at the H Suite in Edgbaston, Birmingham, this weekend during a double-header of shows staged by BCB Promotions, with Edmunds featuring on Sunday.
The 24-year-old, from Hereford, had his life turned upside down just before Christmas in 2018 when his mother, Debbie, died leading to a bleak festive season.
When the New Year rolled around, Edmunds walked into Badd Dawgg’s Gym looking to channel his grief by any means necessary.
That evolved into competing on the unlicensed circuit, before switching his training to the City of Hereford Boxing Academy.
The world then ground to a halt, because of the pandemic, but Edmunds stayed devoted to the sport as his healing process continued.
That journey has evolved to him becoming a bona-fide boxer, with a professional licence and a debut fast approaching. Coach Tony Chadwick remains in his corner.
His pro bow will come at super lightweight, but he can see himself joining the super featherweight division should a dream title chase be in the offing.
There will be a few who will enjoy the occasion as much as Edmunds, who has transformed his pain into positivity through the power of boxing.
He said: “There’s never a good time for it to happen, but to lose my mum two days before Christmas hit me really hard. I was upset, snappy and difficult to be around.
“I’m so glad that I had the support of my girlfriend, Courtney. We’ve been together since I was 12, but I’ve known her for most of my life. Our mums used to take us to the park!
“I wanted something to keep my mind occupied so, rather than drinking and getting in with the wrong crowd, I saw something about a boxing gym and decided to give it a go.
“About a week later, I turned up there and there is nothing better than boxing, even if it’s just for fitness and not fighting, but I got the bug for it. That’s what got me started.
“I’ve never looked back and I don’t want to. I’ve been more involved in white collar (unlicensed boxing), but I had 13 fights and won 11 of them.
“I got four TKOs, too, mainly through body shots, which is a good attribute that I’m hoping will stay with me. It’s all about taking your opportunities.
“I joined a new gym (City of Hereford Boxing Academy), but it never entered my mind to turn pro until later on. I was just enjoying being a part of it.
“If you had told me three years ago that I would have become a professional boxer, I would have laughed in your face, but here we are. I’m learning on the job.
“It just goes to show you that with commitment, dedication and hard work, you can achieve anything. If you want to be the best, that’s what it takes.
“It starts with my debut and, fingers crossed, I’ll come out victorious. I know what I’d like to happen and let’s see if it does.”
Tickets for the two Birmingham bills are still available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet per day, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.