Team Engine! Photo: Ekow Instagram page
Being Ekow Essuman
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The current and unbeaten English and IBF European Welterweight Champion! Arriving to UK from Botswana at the age of 11 years old, before “The Engine” started with boxing he already showed passion for other sports like Football, Basketball and Rugby. Besides the focus on his boxing career he also found time to complete a degree in Marketing and provide mentoring sessions in schools, helping children improve their behavior. Dive in!

Jabtojab: How did boxing enter in your life?

Ekow Essuman: I started boxing at 17 years old, after having a very sporty upbringing. Starting off with swimming from 9 years old to Rugby from 10-11. Football and basketball until i was in college and ending up finding my love for boxing eventually.

Boxing has a way of helping one to stick to routines and healthy living

How do you think boxing could impact the young men and women life’s in UK? I think Boxing can impact a youngsters life in the UK very positively. Boxing has a way of helping one to stick to routines and healthy living whilst not leaving a lot of energy to burn outside of training. I think it would be useful in schools and as part of mentoring schemes to help kids burn unused energy and learn a new discipline.

Boxing fights in UK are very attended. Like football matches, where family’s gather together to go see a competition on a Saturday night. Do you think boxing culture could one day surpass football in UK and why? I think boxing is massive in the UK and has the potential to gain even more followers still although I don’t think it would surpass football. I do think it has a lot of room to grow and a lot of money could be generated from live feeds and cheaper pay per views. Especially with the new trend of prize fights between boxers and mma fighters. (Mayweather vs Connor Mcgregor) and online celebrities (KSI vs Logan).

after some limitations were lifted and I was back in the gym, my motivation came back straight away and it felt good to be back.

Sports at close doors arrived. It is a completely different challenge. We were in quarantine for several months. No competition rhythm. Less training. How do you think it will be the physical and mental impact in an athlete like yourself? For myself , training during lock-down/quarantine was hard. Because i couldn’t train to the same intensity as I would in the gym, and it soon became hard to motivate myself to train. But after some limitations were lifted and I was back in the gym, my motivation came back straight away and it felt good to be back.

How can professional athletes and coaches that depend of the events revenue, survive and overcome these difficult times? Did the British government give any kind of support? There’s not all that much boxers and coaches can do without the support of sponsors or the revenue brought in from classes ran at the said gyms. Boxing licence renewals were extended for periods to help boxers who had a renewal date during the lock-down however boxing medical renews could not be extended. Outside of boxing the boxer or said coaches would have to find part time work for new revenue streams whilst not being able to box

The match was different. It was like a glorified spar. Because the crowd wasn’t there, it was a different kind of buzz being in the ring. You hear every breath and sound around you. The officials gasps. And coaches instructions.

Take us through your last fight? The preparation for my last fight vs Cedrick Peynaud had a good camp for the fight when considering I was training throughout the lock-down in my garden and outdoors. But when we were allowed to train in gyms my training regime was upped 10 fold and we working on boxing in phases to be able to get in, score points and get out of range of Peynaud overhand right . And square stance on the inside. The weigh In was surreal because we had to have a face off from a distance but i was just glad to be able to box the next day. I was excited so instead frowning. I was smiling behind my face mask. The match was different. It was like a glorified spar. Because the crowd wasn’t there, it was a different kind of buzz being in the ring. You hear every breath and sound around you. The officials gasps. And coaches instructions.

I go into schools with small teams of people and provide boxing classes in preparation and mentoring sessions after the classes, as a means on interventions for these kids to be able to change their behavior at school.

What are your projects for after professional boxer? Or do you already have any other projects? I already have projects I started outside of boxing, one being a boxing intervention program for children in schools who are on the brink of being expelled. I go into schools with small teams of people and provide boxing classes in preparation and mentoring sessions after the classes, as a means on interventions for these kids to be able to change their behavior at school. I’m also a qualified personal trainer and Reformer Pilates instructor. I plan on investing more time into. This career path and well as public motivational speaking

Whats next for Ekow Essuman? I plan on defending the IBF European title I won against Cedrick Peynaud and further climbing higher up the IBF ranks to be able to challenge for higher ranked belts and fighters, as well as challenging for the British and/or commonwealth belt.

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