Tony Bellew: Nothing Made Me Happy Until I Found This | E156 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Tony Bellew: Nothing Made Me Happy Until I Found This | E156".

1970-01-05T05:31:07.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Every night, a crime itself to sleep. Like nothing made me happy. Nothing. Tony Bellu! What a fighter! I believe I'll promise her to fight. It would be father who taught me how to punch and at 12, 13 years old, that's a powerful tool to show a kid. Finding out that your brother was gay being a pivotal moment. Why? In the mid-90s, it wasn't cool to be gay and black. That's when I'd say the fighting take shape. I used to brute-lives me body, cannibalize me on body. Just fight nights that I've had that I can't remember anything. That shield you put up to help you to survive. I'm guessing it's not serving you. No. Bellu to Haynill! One of the things I will never forget is the raw emotion that came out of you after you won that fight. You know, people look at you and think you're a success story. They look at the money, you've got to look at the scenario and the setup you've got, but ultimately, are you happy? Are you happy? So without further ado, I'm Steven Bartlett and this is the DiRever CEO. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this to yourself. Tony, from reading your book and a lot of the things that you've said over the years, one of the things that really stood out to me, because I think it's been front of mind because a few guests have said this to me over the last couple of weeks, is I was a product of my environment and your early environment was wavatory and Liverpool.


Significant Experiences & Challenges

What are the most pivotal moments of your childhood? (01:22)

Yeah. Take me back to that environment and tell me what it was about that environment that shaped who you went on to be and who you are today. I am a product of me environment and I say that and the way I get to that is because it's no coincidence I'm a fighter. I was just, I believe I was probably not here to fight. It's something that I enjoy, something that I like. It's something that I'm not afraid of. Like fighting doesn't, it never scared me, it never bothered me. And I think that's a bit weird to be honest, but it's just me. I can't change who I am. And the environment I was raising definitely helped producer, you know, from being a kid at the age of 10, me at my old man leaves home. He's gone and then at that age, me little brother at that age is about six or seven. Me two elder brothers, one I'd moved out and the other one was on the verge of finishing school. So the elder one who finishes school then goes on to further education. He goes to university, so we keep moving on over a few years. And then once I hit 13, 14, it's quite a part of me younger brother's gay. And then that's when I'd say the fighting take shape and things take shape. So he said your dad left home when you were 10. Yep. How come? He couldn't keep his dick on his pants. He's starting to bottom off. And got caught. Basically a fantastic father, but you know, it was Carrie and I broke me mum's ass and was gone. Yeah, so a product of a most men, to be honest, but that was the reason me dad was gone. So he was carrying on. He had an affair with some scupp bag of a woman who knew he was married with four kids. And yeah, he just, he let us, the thing in between in his pants rule his head. And I think that he regrets every single day for the rest of his life, which he constantly tells me in those. But these are the mistakes men make. What impact did I have on your mother at the time? I was heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. It's a kick growing up. It's not nice meat. Watching your mother cry so obviously at nights. And the other things that go on in life is heartbreaking. Very, very tough. And you don't even understand how tough it is when you look back as an older as a grown ass man. You realise how tough and hard it really is. So heartbreaking. Yeah. Getting to see the impact of like infidelity in your own home has it impacted what you like as a man with your. Oh, that's deep. I've never been asked to questions like this, but it's all good. Yes, it does add a life where I try me best to learn from other's mistakes and not just me on. So I would never ever in a million years have an affair. Ain't nothing. Just not going on. No chance. Things sit with me and I said, try me best to learn from other people's mistakes. But yeah, growing up in that period of time and that part of my life was very, very difficult. And you just, you're after learning to adapt. So then at that stage, your home's broken. And my friends then become me family. Me, me closest friends that the five or six was like all go to school together. They become me best friends and they become me brothers from there running. And you learn to cope with life and do things just cause me that done what he done. He didn't detract anything from as a father. He was a brilliant father. He's been me greatest supporters since that I was born. I'm a Shannon like he believes in me like no one else could ever believe in me. Like he adores me. And I adored him. I would do anything for me father. But yeah, then he is when he's gone. Very, very difficult, especially when he goes to prison as well. So that's hard as well. You mentioned you're finding out that your brother was gay being a pivotal moment. Why? We always had the other conscious thought that he was because me brother's gay. He's not like, he's hard. You hear my brother before you see him. You know, he's out there. He really is. So we knew it quite early on. But as I say, as time goes on and you see the environment that he's raised, depending on the around women and the age of the daps. We see where it's going. But as a family, we understand that now we get him. I love him. He's my little brother. But then the outside world doesn't go down well. In the mid 90s, it wasn't cool to be gay and black. Like me brothers darker than me. So he's the same shade as you, our Liam. And that just didn't go down well. Yeah. So I picked on in school regularly in the junior school. It's not too bad. It's okay because it's kind of just looked at us being loud and you're out there. But when you start getting towards senior school lovers, like, oh, okay, he's gay. And then that comes to problems and headaches. And when you're raised in Waverty, being a kid growing up, I think I seen one gay man. One gay black man, his name was Skippy. No one would mess with him because he was like six for three. And his name was Skippy and he would fuck around and no one would just leave him alone because anyone who did try and mess with him, smacked him. But my little brother wasn't that way inclined at that age. He's not smacking no one. He'd just take a slap or whatever. So I couldn't allow that to happen. Though anyone who would step to him, I would step to them. And it would always be me winning every single time. Can you find yourself defending him a lot? Oh, yes. Lots of times. Lots of times. I mean, the amount of times I'd have to go up to the school. I remember being a kid, taking me mum's car. She was away. She was on holiday. And I got a phone call saying your brother's been threatened to be beat up from after school or some kid threatened him. So at this time, I think I was 16, took me mum's car, which I shouldn't have done. Went and got me little brother. And I think I smacked someone to school. What do I was waiting for? I gave them a good beating. Driving back home after then, you don't crash me mum's car. Really? Yeah. And then for the unknowns, I've read that story. I crashed the mum's car into a taxi. And then set off running for a couple of weeks. So, yeah. For a couple of weeks. Yeah, I was gone for a couple of weeks. Back in the day. So, yeah, you could just go missing them days. And the mum's car was classed. It's been stolen and stuff like that. So, yeah. Lots of crazy things I've done and experienced in my life. But, yeah, that's the first time I actually spoke about that side. So, you're the first world done. You've dragged something up there. Something new. Yeah, yeah. I'm just so genuinely curious because much of my... The reasoning behind my questioning is to really try and understand how someone came to be who they are today. And all of these threads through your life of the absence of your father which creates this void where you almost become the man of the house. And then you've got this thing you need to defend in your brother. And even the race thing I find really interesting. Because your mother is the same skin tone as me roughly, isn't she? Yeah. Maybe a bit darker. Yeah. Similar to you, yes. But you're significantly lighter than me. Yes. And my mother, who is... I'm guessing, consider herself to be a black woman. She's black. Yeah. And growing up in that environment where there wasn't a huge amount of black people. Did you find... I was wondering this when I was reading about your story. Did you find yourself almost like a little bit like identifying with that community while also not being considered part of it by... Do you know what I mean? Yeah, of course.


Racism & its impact on you (09:05)

So, you're not black enough for the builders and you're not white enough for the white people. So, yeah. Of course, since I was a kid, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. It did grow up because you're trying to think who they're related to, what they're related to. And they're just being a decent person. I'm trying to do the right thing. I've done enough bad things in my life to know that I'm a good person. If that makes sense. So, yeah. I've... Race, color, creed, it doesn't really bother me. You're not the good of your bad. But, yeah, it's not hard. As I've always wondered what it must've been like me mother growing up. Because that must've been very difficult, especially for... You know, and I know it was difficult for me mother and father to be together when they first get together because my father's coming into a period of design with the chocolate dryer to happen. And for a white man with, you know, a black woman and black kids and stuff, you know, he's had this fight to regard now as well. But for me, mother must've been horrific at times. Must've really been hard. But she's strong. She's a strong woman and she can get through anything. I saw that a lot of my mums. My dad's white. My mum's from Nigeria, so... Okay. My mum, we moved to Cornwall, right, where everyone's white. When I'm like one or two years old and my mum, she just constantly gets like, struggled with it. Her car being burnt by people locally. Shop's been broken into everything. She really built a huge amount of, I don't know, anger and resentment towards people, which I'm really happy I didn't carry with me. But, you know, at that age, even I had racism. A lot of racism on the playground and stuff like that. And being someone who wouldn't necessarily be a target of that racism, but would be, could I identify with the community because your mother's black? Was that ever like a thing where you would hear people would have the guts to be racist around you? But because they wouldn't think you'd be offended by it. But did you ever give you advice on how to get through that? Never. Or did you just work it out now? Never. I mean, I got a few, I probably the only significant fights I ever got in was someone calling me at the N word in school. Yeah. And I was the only black in school. Like, there was obviously Cornwall, like, night-night-two. Those were the only fights I ever got into. And I didn't really know what it meant. I didn't even know I was black until someone called me then, which you know what I mean? Yeah. So, but did you get some advice on that? No, I wasn't giving advice. I just found myself. I used to build a bit of a protective wall down myself. So I would let people know I was half black within literally the first couple of minutes of meeting them. So that way it would shield them from saying it. Because if someone says the racist comment and wants to meet, I'm going to smack you. Or I'm going to do something. So I'm going to butt you smack you. I'm going to give you a piece of your mind. I'm going to do something. So I found myself like meeting people and I'd be like, "Yes, I'm mixed race. So yeah, me mum's black. Me dad's white." And someone used to look at me just to say, "Why is he telling us that?" And I think because I just don't want to hear the comments that I'm used to hearing of this word, that word, I'd heard them only life. And people would make smart ass jokes and just, you know, degrade black people or whether it would be. I've heard every single word and phrase you can possibly imagine. And I would only hear them because they were undertone racism. It would be said because they thought I was white. Yeah. And that was the most frustrating part. So then I felt myself letting people know, "Look, I'm not white." "I'm not black and I'm not white, but I'm just me." But yeah, I'd let people know what I was pretty much straight away because if I hear that undertone or I hear that slight comment or a dig, I'm going to respond. Unless it's a woman and a couple of times I've had to let that go and it's been women. We've made undertone comments only once. I think I took her up with a woman because I was working in the Sports Center for the appeals of the council and a woman said, "I'm weird." And I was furious and I just started giving a piece of my mind and I called it every slot and sweat and going. And I actually lost my job for that. Yeah. So I was like, "I wish you just in that," she said. I was like, "You know I'm such a quiet, not quiet, but I'm such a... I treat people, everyone with respect. Everyone and me, so it doesn't matter whether you can be anything in life. I'm no better than anyone whether it's a fucking bitman on the street, whether it's a fucking I was a lifeguard, whether it's someone who's begging on the street. I am no better than them, but believe you me, they're no better than me. You shouldn't disrespect anyone." So yeah, I gave it a piece of my mind and lost my job and that was the end of that. You learned to deal with moments like that and as I say in the environment I'm raised and I've found a way of shielding myself, protecting myself and then also me actions and I want to speak loud in my words because of what I've done with me career. When I sat here with Eddie Hern, it became really apparent that many of the successful people I meet start with this kind of innate desire to please a parent.


Your relationship with your father & his prison years (13:48)

Eddie's one of them, right? He kind of lived in Barry Hern's shadow. You spoke a lot of people? Wow, I'm pretty... Yeah, yeah, yeah. You spoke to them all. But he was someone when I was reading your story, I saw the same thing. You had this real strong desire to impress your father. Without that. I'm wondering why? What why? Because he's me dad and I adore me that I love him. Yeah. Not everyone has that though. Yeah, because not everyone has a father and I'm very fortunate that I do. Yeah, he might not have been living at home from the age of 10 but he's still me father and he still loves me and adores me and no he does. Me dad would do anything for his kids. He would literally die for all of his children and that was passed over to me. I think that's why I adore me kids so much. But I always wanted to impress him. Why? He's me dad. So, yeah, he's me dad. I want to impress him. I want to impress him and I want to impress him and I want to do more than he's done. Do better. I want to impress him but I also want to go fail him where he's gone. And yeah, I was lucky enough for fortune to be able to do it. Especially when I go, I mean me dad was a hard man. Me and my dad can fight, you know, really, really fight. But he tried the boxing, didn't stick at it, didn't go right. And it didn't go right because not because he's not hard enough or tough enough just because he's mentally, he can't stick with it. He can't take someone jab in the face often because, you know, he goes nuts. He attacks him with a stool in the second fight. He's got a wicked temper. You would never know that as, as was his children, but I've seen it literally because I've worked on nightclub doors. I've strapped up a bullet prevest at the age of 19 with him. I mean, we've been working side by side, working on nightclubs. So, as a young kid, I just wanted to be like him. So, when I realized what my dad was, he was a young nightclub security company. And he ran them doors brilliantly, you know, the nightlife in our city. It was fantastic. We had the best club in the city. People still talk about today, it was called Society. And the policy was three to one with women to men. That you can possibly imagine the trouble that would cause and what we would get from the outside in. And we created an environment and a place that was unbelievable. And I've watched me dad go through so many problems and fights and things like that. Whether he's been threatened to be shot as house blown up, ran over, shot stabbed, every possible thing you can imagine jailed twice. So, yeah, I just wanted to impress him. So, the first step was working on the door with him. Well, no, the first step was going into the boxing gym. That was the first step. Once I found out he couldn't progress any further. The boxing was also okay. I'll show you how he can. I'll have a go. And it started off as just a bit of a mature thing. I'll show you this. I'll show you that. Because ultimately, I didn't really want to box. I want to play football. I do have a football club and I want to be a professional footballer, but that's just a pipe dream. But at the ages of 12 to 16, you think you can do it. And I was a big believer in my own beliefs. So I thought, if I work hard, if I can do it, I've always synchronized working hard with getting to the end goal. I'll get there no matter how hard it is or how big the textbooks. If I work hard enough, I'll get there. But that just wasn't the case with football, unlucky for me. But with boxing, I always watched it with me dad from afar. I wasn't as big as fan, but I studied and watched because I was in cheek by. And then upon fan, they don't meet dad, couldn't stick it and do it. I thought, okay, I'll have a go at this. And I was just insanely good at punching people. And I was from an early age, I knew, just straight away. You took me on pads, a kickbox to first. Got to a good level at that, good standard. And then knocked a couple of opponents out with punches in the face. But I was only a kid at this age that shouldn't happen. Dropped one and flattened the other one. Got to qualify for both contests because it was supposed to be semi-contact, supposed to tap each other for the point. And then point for you, you go away, let's fight again. Point for you and you get to like 11 points and you've won. I think it was 11 points. And upon knocking people out with punches, it was like, oh, you can't do this. And at this stage, it was me father who taught me how to punch. He showed me the correct way of how to turn your fist over, how to exchange your body away from the end of your foot to the end of your fist. And at 12, 13 years old, that's a powerful tool to show a kid. But I've seen how proud he was the men's and knocked them kids out in the hip box. And even though got disqualified and lost, I knocked these kids out with punches and he was extremely proud. And I was like, oh, this is the way forward. And even though I didn't know that then mentally and subconsciously, I've took that on board. See now much, he's praised me. See now much, he's gave me for doing it. And I've thought, that's the way. So I keep flitting and messing around with that thought. And then ultimately, I end up in a boxing gym. Basically, he tried and impressed me that I'm not going to lie that day. That was the first reasons for going into a boxing gym and I'm a boxing gym and doing it. You knew that had gone to jail twice, you said. First time before I was born. First time before you were born. And then the second time when you were roughly around. I think I was 14, 15, 14, 14, 15. Yeah, somewhere there about. I'd have to go back in the years. But around roughly that age, what's that like when you find out that your father, someone you admire so much, is going to this place called jail where he's going to be locked. That's tough. When I found out what he'd done, I agreed with everything he'd done. So at this age now, it's right. So someone stole his money. So at this stage, my dad owns a pub. He's running a security firm. He's got a pub on the side. He's got his other job with deprivation. He's got so many things going on. And this pub, I think the guy stole 10,000 pounds out of the safe. The manager, he was employed and managed, took 10,000 pounds out of the safe and went running with his money. So me father picked them up, took them, kidnapped them, whatever they'd done. And the man phones this home and demanded this money back. And that was told a no. So it makes another phone call, leaves a voicemail unbelievable. Leaves a voicemail of what will happen if he doesn't get his 10,000 pounds and that voicemail sends him to prison. So yeah, if someone stole 10,000 pounds from me, I'm not leaving a voicemail like, but you know, no one's taking me kids money. So, and I know I get these, these things goes from him. So, you know, no one can steal from me and take his child's money because I don't look at my money, it's being my money anymore. I look at it, it's the kids. And I'm pretty sure that's how he looked at it. So yeah, he's done what he's done and then he goes off and I go and visit him and that's when I think another pivotal moment in my life. Going to visit me dad in the big house is very, very tough, but sticks with me once again. It's a part of my life where I think to myself, wow, I never come here. He tells me the most important phrase he ever told me in life. I'm sitting with him and I'm on a visit in order. His partner who takes me to the visit, takes me there and he says to me, "See, a lot of people glorify jail. You see, lads in there and like I've done jail, I've done this, I've done that." My father was the only person I seen. Say what he said to me and I've never seen it said since. I've got friends who are in jail, grown up with lads from jail and stuff like that. So, and he says to me, "Son, don't ever come here." And I said, "I'm not going to do this here, because you see this place? It's the house of failure. Everyone in here has failed. There's no winners in here. There's no great people in here. If you're in here, you've failed. And it sat with me forever. Just it's always sat with me. There's various things that I've done that I'm not proud of. There's various things that if I would have been co-foured or would have been in jail, but it didn't. And at the same time, I'm very grateful for the words that he said, because they stuck with me forever. I actually have got friends doing life. I've seen friends, you know, being in jail for long periods of time. I've visited a friend more recently and we speak to him and I told him to phrase me, that said. And this friend, the man, has done a long time in jail. And he said to me, "Your dad was spot on." And he's sitting there, he's done nearly 16 years. He's getting out soon. And that's what he said to me. He said, "Your dad is spot on. He couldn't be any more truthful and couldn't be phrased any better. If you're in jail, you failed." So no one should glorify jail. No one should put a badge of honor on it. There's nothing glorious about sitting in the prison, so nothing at all. But I'm not stupid enough to think that that couldn't have been me. It could have been me with the cards and the delta. It could have very, very easily been me. I'm just very fortunate that it didn't happen to me. When your amateur boxing career starts, are you still being tempted by those kind of temptations?


Street life & lack of role models (23:06)

You talk a little bit about that in here. Yeah. Street life. Street life. Yeah, definitely. There's no other way to end. I've got no qualifications. I've been expelled from school. For fighting, right? Yep. For fighting, for smashing someone's face in. But while he was stabbing me in the head of the compass... So, yeah. It's... But these are the life that, you know, you just... You know, it's looked at as normal. I know when you look back and out, it's frightened. I think that, like, if someone stabbed my son, the head of the compass, wow. It's truly frightening, but it didn't deter me up by the me at all. Crazy. Like I walked or two and watched him hold the compass. And I knew I only had fists, but it didn't. It didn't intimidate me. It didn't scare me, and yeah. When you get expelled from school at 15, what do you think you're going to become in your life? Is it... When you're still thinking you might... What's the hope? Yeah, it's when you're going to be when you grow up, what would be it responsive been? At 15, after getting kicked out. Locked up? You thought that's what help was going to play out for you? Yeah, because I know I wanted nice things. At the age of 15, 16, I always know I wanted nicer things. And I just, at that stage, especially being expelled from school, I had no idea I was going to get them. Why did you want nice things? Why was that simple? Because I've read throughout your story about these nice things. You just want nice things, you just want... So the nice things that I looked at was like, as a kid, I can't believe I'm weird, so I've got a gold chain about this chain. Now, the only reason I have this is because I wanted that as a child and I've never grown up. It's the one thing I wanted to thought of like, if I can get that, I've cracked it. I don't wear a chain out on me, I'll be top and show this and all that. That's not me now. But as a kid growing up, I thought that was going to be me, the chain out on the cross and the down. You know, you've grown up in similar environments. And that's what you want, but I get it because in my mind, I think I've got the things I wanted. But I've worked hard enough to know the right way. I did that very many ways thinking I'll do it the wrong way as well. And that's once again where the touch of me being a product of your environment, because everybody else is doing it. Anybody else who had nice things, where I'm from, everyone was sound jokes. There's no other way to get nice things. No one where I'm from. I didn't ever see a doctor where I'm from. I didn't see a solicitor where I lived. I mean, the first time I found out what a solicitor was, it was because a lot he crashed into our bus on our way to school. I mean, mother took me to meet him. That's how he really found out what a solicitor was. Isn't that so crazy? It tells you so much about what's wrong with society. Yes, society. Society, right? I went to the... Why are you living in high school? Living in school in Liverpool? I know where it is, but I didn't live anywhere near. I went to a place called Chill Ball Comp. I went undercover in Lidland as a teacher. Did you read? In TV show. So Lidland's school, that's a plumberly white area. Yeah. It was... It's the North End. Is it a referee? Because it felt... It's not rough. Lidland's actually nice. Really? It's a nice part of Liverpool. You would say Lidland's really nice. Really? Yeah. There's really, really... They were like the lowest ranked on office there or whatever, but I remember a kid there in the school, Steve. I went to his house, but I don't know why he thinks I'm a teacher. He goes, "I think I want to be a millionaire when I grow up, but there's just no millionaires around here. I've never met any." And he goes, "It's hard to be something that you can't see." And I always remember him saying that. Again, that speaks to much of the problem in society where those kids don't have role models. So they can only aspire to... And it's a big part of the show we did. What do they call it? The networks of people getting young kids from schools to drink deal drugs. I can't get a bloody name of it. So what ends up happening is these adults from out of time message these kids from Liverpool on Instagram and say, "Listen, you can make some 50 quid if you just move these drugs for me." And then they end up going through that path, which... The cycle of deprivation. Yeah. And that's how it starts. But you also have to understand that in them areas, like I've just touched on, no one was coming from my area and was going to be... Like, it's only since I've grown up and I've realised how three of us got expelled from school. There was me, Tinka and Walker. Three of us apparently expelled. Now them three people, the me, Tinka and Walker, Tinka is one of the lead professors in the university. He's expelled the same as me. Warks is one of the best journalists in the whole of the country for sports. Boy knows everything about football, boxing. The only reason he knows everything about boxing is because the dope didn't like the fact that I anymore about boxing at him. So he started studying boxing, which is insane. And then there's me. And I said, "We're best friends. We grew up." Then there was Neil, there was Danzi. He was a footballer. He was set out on the start. He was amazing. It was always going to be a footballer. He was just unbelievably gifted. So between the four of us there, growing up within two miles of each other, no one from them areas, I had ever seen before or heard of before me. I'd ever come a professor, an amazing journalist, a professional footballer and then a professional fighter world champion. And we were four lads who all went to school together, the closest of friends. And that's just four out of about the eight of us. The others have good jobs and stuff like that. And they've cracked on with it, just finding them, figuring out their way in life. But yeah, that wasn't available to us as kids, because as I say, if I could tell you what that professor was doing now, as 15, you wouldn't believe me. If I could tell you what the 16-year-old was doing and what was going on as the gentleman, you wouldn't believe it. It's only the football lads that I could say he was the goal we all aspire to be as kids because he was so driven. Neil was just, he'd worked so hard when every spare minute he got, he was kicking a ball into the wall. He was training, he was working, he was playing for Liverpool, he was just unbelievably gifted. But worked so hard with the talent that he had. Whereas others didn't, and as I say, from me growing up, it was like everyone who had nice things was selling drugs. And that's all you could really say, because if I had the scene of footballer from where I'm from, if I had the scene of professional world champion boxer or I had a scene, I really educated the new man living where I was. I might have thought I can do that, but you don't see. So I go to schools to these sometimes now, and I try and talk to these kids and explain to them, I don't feel comfortable going to places. So I got invited to Oxford and Cambridge, and I didn't go, I said no. And I just said I don't feel, what am I going to say to people? They've got brains, the path, the size of this. And they were like, the understander's not about the British, what you've tapped into up here yourself to make work for you. I said, yeah, but I can't, I'm not comfortable going, so I'm not going. But I can walk into any school where I'm from and have a chat to them kids, because I am them kids, I've been where they've been, I can relate to them. And I just need to get across to them. So I do that now with the programme, then do with the weapons down gloves up. I'll say an amount of it in the book, but ultimately it's just hard to get across to the kids in the areas that I'm from. It really is, because there is no way out, and I understand there's no way out, because I was there, I was where you once was, with no way out, with no hope, no job. It's expelled from school and you just think, what am I going to do? So yeah, it's so difficult. We talked a little bit about your father there, the other man in your life that you referred to as being a father figure is in Chapter 2, which is Jimmy. Yes, who is the guy. Who is your, I believe your amateur coach? Yes, he was.


The death of your first trainer & his prediction of your success (30:36)

You know, so blatantly obvious from reading Chapter 2 that he had a profound influence on you. Definitely in the short space on time I was all around him and with him, I just, I got him. And the very first time I met him, I thought, that's never going to work. So the very first time I met him, he basically just shrugged me off and thought, I'm not going to, he obviously seen a talent I walked in. Before I actually had the damage, I walked in the wrist on the ABC, and I started punching a bag. This had been the second Jim I tried out. So I went to this gym and punched a bag and he comes over and says, "Have you ever boxed before?" I said, "No, I've never boxed." He said, "Don't tell lies." He said, "How many bouts have you had?" I said, "I've never had a bout in my life." He said, "Kids, you've never had a bout. Don't hit a bag like you. How many bouts have you had?" I said, "I've had no bouts." I said, "But when can I have a bout?" To that smart-ass comment from me, he replied, "You don't tell me, boy, when you're going to box." I tell you, he said, "About 12 to 18 months." I was like, "Okay, yeah, walked out of the gym and never came back." I went down, went straight to a place called Stockbridge, ABC. That's a guy called Mark Kenny. Six weeks later, I have my first amateur bout. All hell breaks loose, and I just think then, I'm the wave that she's version of my Tyson. I'm smashing people. You have to understand, when you first have amateur bouts, very, very, very, very, you'll see a stoppage. My first three amateur fights all in knockout wins. You just don't see that. Usually, a lot of amateur fights lose the first fight through nerves and anxiety and just being petrified. It's normal. I've only ever been nervous for two fights in my whole entire life. The very first ever amateur fight I had, and then go to some park. So, I've never been nervous for any other fight. Fighting doesn't bother me. I enjoy, like I said before. So, I guess the point, I get disqualified. Me temper flares in one. In the last bout, I have a Stockbridge, ABC. Guy's spitting me face-high bottom as hard as I can in the middle of the face, roughly throws me out. I then go back to Rittunder. This time, I've now had four or five bouts. Four bouts. I go back to Rittunder, with my terrible tummy legs. I go back to Jimmy Elbertira. After him telling me it's going to be 12, 18 months, this guy now knows who I am. He's seen me box. He's seen me fight. And he's identified me as a talent. I didn't know that. I'm only told that later on in life because he would never, ever gave me an answer to credit. He never once praised me. Not to me face anyway. It was only upon him dying that I found out that he thought I was going to be a champion. So, which is crazy to think that he could see that because I couldn't see at that stage. But being with him and spending time with him, he made me believe in him so much. And a part of it was because he pushed me to levels of work rate that I'd never seen before. That I never thought I was capable of. Though I hardly worked in that gym under his tutelage was as hard as any day I've had as a professional. It was really tough. He would demand only the best from you. And I don't know how he's seen the things he's seen, but he did. The cat was a genius. It was unbelievable. So, yeah, losing him was the first real last ever at the main life. I'd lost at this stage. I think I'd lost, I definitely lost my uncle at that stage, which was a bit heartbreaking. He was my dad's previous partner in the business and losing my uncle, Jimmy, was hard. I could deal with it. It was a progression. He got cancer and he got slowly, slowly, died and went away. So, that was a bit hard to lose in, but the first real tragic last night I had was Jimmy. That was hard. Grief is the worst feeling in the world. It's the worst thing ever. Do you remember where you were when you got that call? Yep. Paul Smith phoned me. I was a... Paul phoned me and I was just sitting there and he was sobbing on the phone. Oh, what's wrong? Where are you? And he was crying on the phone. I couldn't understand what he was saying. And then I got the last way to say Jimmy's dead. I said, "Don't be stupid. That was where I'm two days ago." Because he'd given me the quadruple bypass and he gets the quadruple bypass and he just comes back to soon. He started training again and he had a bevy and like pizza and food. Jimmy was just a proper man's man and he came back to soon. Paul phoned me and told me that Jimmy's gone. I just couldn't believe it. Remember just breaking that crying. Taking another card again with no license and driving straight to the gym. The top Jimmy gave me. I'm sitting at the gym just crying and crying. I think, "What are we going to do?" And selfish as I am thinking, "What's going to happen to me, career?" Because at that stage then, being with Jimmy, I then knew I was going to be a fighter forever. Once I had that two or three bout, I won't be first national championships in Jimmy was in me corner. I'm fighting the under ten novice finals. I fight against the guy with the same name, Muhammad. He wins a semi-final ten-nil. I go in and knock him on conscience six seconds in the final to win me first. I have a national title, I'm under ten novice title. Cleaned him out in six seconds. Still a record. Still a record to this day. And yeah, at that point then, I'm going to make me. I'm going to make it as a fighter after that national final victory. And a member running back to corner to Jimmy and jumping on the ropes and saying, "I am the fucking best fighter you lot will ever see in Aos and not to be sport-centered in Leeds. Tell everyone, "I am the king of the world. I am the best ever. Now, this is just so embarrassing when I look back. This is a guy who was in his tenth amateur fight. And I was telling people, "I'm going to be a world champion." And they must have been like, "What's going on?" I get to jump down from the guy I've just rendered unconscious and he's still asleep. I've jumped down off his corner of the ropes after screaming me head off. I walked back to me corner and I said to Jimmy, "Jimmy, how good was that? It was amazing, wasn't it?" And he just looked at me and fucking shite. I thought, "Just knock someone out in six seconds." And as he spun towards fucking shite, long be old, he turns away to the other coach and just goes. And just as a face with a little thumb up. I didn't see that once again. You'd have to look back on the video and see him do it. He never gave me praise, but then from where he told other people. Like when Jimmy, when Jimmy, Daddy got carried by six of us, past champions, forums, present champions, Paul, Smith and Mick, I'm future champions, who he regards as the future of the gym, myself and Paul. And I was a future one. I've been a man, I've only been around the stage for two years. And he predicted that was going to be a future champion. So for them to predict that and say unbelievable. He'll stick with me forever. I have his name tattooed on me arm. Yeah, so, all my tattoos mean something. So yeah, it's a missing every single day. Not many days go by where I don't think of him. Yeah, I'm close with his family and I love his lovely wife, Benny and his kids, and James and lovely family. They've now got kids and Jimmy's affected so many of those lives. Massive, massive part of man. I will never, ever forget him and I will never let his name go. You know, whenever I am, I will always take his name with me.


Becoming a world champion (37:49)

And then you go on and do exactly that. What Jimmy predicted you would do? Yeah, which is crazy. I think when an ABA title, well, one three of them, I don't know if he predicted three, but when three ABA titles of "Boxing Me Country" go all around the world, I have amazing successes in amateur. Bear in mind that I've not got the style to be a good amateur boxer. My style was to render people unconscious. I've never gotten an "Boxing Ring" and wanted to beat someone on points, ever. Well, that's a lie. One time I did. I got in the ring against a guy called Danny Price and I really liked Danny. I didn't want to hear some material, I never got into a fight and didn't want to hear someone. Yeah. And yeah. I never, amateur boxing is about skill and class and it's a proper sport. Professional boxing is a brutal, horrible business. It's not a sport. It's literally a way of life. You don't live professional boxing the way it needs to be lived. You will get found out every single time and you will leave you in a bad way. Amateur boxing was a beautiful sport. I was part of a team. I was in the Tundere ABC. I had great, amazing team. I had amazing coaches. I understand that these coaches in these amateur gyms, they aren't there for money because there's no money in it for them. They're there for the love of the sport and to help kids. That gym has saved more lives than anywhere I've ever been in my life. Every boxing gym does that. I want your gym. And people use this and use the face of this thing to save life. It literally does. It's saved mine. It's saved numerous lives. I know when that gym's lives. There's numerous lives there who have been to jail. There's numerous lives there who have been shot, stabbed, shot and stabbed people. That boxing gym has kept them on the straight and narrow. There's so many wars that have gone on in and around that gym. But when you went to that gym, that was the safest place in the world because no one would come in that gym and do anything to anyone because that was the safety that when you went in a boxing gym. And that was because of the respect they had for someone like Jimmy. And that's what he demands. That's what saves the areas. It's literally your policing, your own neighborhood. Something that has completely gone into these environments. No one cares no more. Like there is no hierarchy within a criminal environment. There is no hierarchy on the street no more because every kid is out for himself. They do not care. That boxing gym demands respect. And no matter who you are or what you've got, you give that respect to that boxing gym. So Jimmy was a massive, massive part of that. And yet we were very fortunate as all of us to have them. Without a mate it would have changed so many that fights his lives and that policing and that community as well. I don't, it's not on the slip. When I say save lives, he literally did. You said that the coaches are there to make money, but a lot of the fighters don't ever make good money unless they get up near the top of the sport, right? And I was actually really surprised to hear in one of the conversations you had where you said you hadn't even become a millionaire until pretty late into your career. You had become a millionaire until a beef field fell a little bit called David Aye. Yeah, when you think about what you're doing for a living, you're smashing your head up, you're smashing other people's faces up. And it wasn't until you thought David, "Hey, which was in 2017, right?" Correct. Where you became a millionaire. I remember that fight so clearly. I remember it was that I think like, "Suspiciously stayed up front. I don't want to think I stayed up for it, but it must have been somewhere in the world." But I remember watching that fight so clearly and how it played out. I remember every round and the twists and turns and the emotions surrounding it all. That was madness. Madness. Crazy. I basically being a professional army life at that stage as well as being a boxer on me life. And bearing in mind, when I go into the ring against David Hay, I'm British, Commonwealth, European, World Champion. I've achieved everything I possibly can with the boxing. I'm still not a millionaire. I'm top in bills. I've fought at the evidence for both stadium, good to some park. I've defended me well title at the Echo Reusk. I've sold out multiple venues at this point. I've fought on Skybox offers multiple times at this stage. And it wasn't because you were spunking your money at all. You are blowing your money. I've been wise with my money. I was out. At this stage, after I've won the world title and took me four to five David Hay, I don't own me house out right here. I've got one property that I rent out my first house. After that, I've got the second property that I've got a mortgage on. That's all I have to my name at that stage in life. Why? How does that happen? Because that's boxing for you. Is it boxing? Yeah. Really, that's boxing for you. That's professional fighting. Unless you turn professional with a gold medal, there ain't no money at the start. And you've got a banker. How good do you really believe you are? How much do you really believe in yourself? Because you've got to back yourself all the way. So, you know, after five professional fights in me, left hand, third knucklehead snaps and off. And the fifth fight in me career. So, I get an operation on and off the best stage in the world. His name is Mike Hayton. And I didn't even have enough money to pay for the operation. Because I fought in December, I snapped me handing off, me middle knucklehead, the snaps in half. And then I spend all of the £6,000 that I've just aimed to give the kids the best Christmas they can possibly have. On January the 11th, I'm scared to have got a single penny in the bank. I've got a mortgage to pay. I've got kids to provide for. But everyone thinks from the outside, I'm this button professional. And I've got loads of money because I've got a new car and whatever I've had in this stage. I'm still living in my tennis house in the old swan, in Liverpool. But from the outside, I've looked in it like he's on TV. He's fighting. If I had said to people, I ain't 6,000 pound a fight, of X amount to lose to the promoter, X amount to lose to the manager, X amount to lose to the trainer. I'm breaking even. I'm lucky if I'm getting out with 4 grand, 3.5. Lucky after I paid the cutman. All the expenses in training. Very lucky if you get out with that. You definitely don't clear it because don't forget, she won't say it goes as well. Queen, HMRC. So, you know, yeah, so very, very tough. So then you have to do extracurricular activities trying to earn some more money and provide food on to your kids. So it's very, very bad. I couldn't expect. I know what it's like to be skinned. I know it's like not to have a penny. I've felt financial pressure. It's just frightening, frightening thing. And I understand why people do the things they do. No one can tell me nothing about being skinned or whatever. People say to me, "No, you would know it's like to be skinned." Yes, I would. I know it's like to be skinned with two kids as well. So it's petrifying. So you figure a way out and you get through it. And so all the achievements that I've done and had, it was all off the, just to maintain that dream of one day becoming a world champion, the frightening parties. Imagine getting to that point in life, becoming a world champion all that, and then thinking, "Me wife then says to me, and she's not me wife at the time, she's still me bed, or she'll always be me bed." And saying to her, "She comes down, I win the world title of Gudus and Park, I'm on a bank holiday Sunday 29th of May 2016." Yeah, I'll have my swabs to show you that as well. That's the Delta win. From Gudus and Park, that's the Delta win. Oh, it's that, that's great fight. Thank you. I wish the earlier on as well. Thank you. So 29th of May 2016, I've completed the game. I've completed the story. I'm someone in life who's, I've seen through me lifelong dream. My dream in life was to fight to go to some park. You know, that was the best I would ever been to achieve. The WBC title, I go to some park. I've lived, I've seen me dream through. But I wake up on Monday. Well, that's a lie, I didn't wake up, I didn't sleep. So I go down the kitchen on Monday morning, bank holiday Monday. I mean, Mrs. comes down and she says to me, "That's it. Now you've done it. It's time to stop." And I'm like, "Yeah, I've achieved everything I said I was doing. And yeah, it's gone well." I said, "But girl was so financially far from security that I've got to keep going." At this stage, she understands because she used to think boxing was a game. She used to think like, as an amateur, she didn't even recognize it. She was like, "You've got head guards on it. It's not even boxing. It's just, it's basically, it's a game of tech." And I was like, "Fuck sake, girl, if you only knew." I mean, for the head guard on you and give you a job, you'll soon have a fucking difference opinion. But she's a, she soon lands. She soon lands how I've used to brutalize me body, cannibalize me on body. There'll be times when I had come on from training, I'm not even remember where I've been. Concussion that I'd have. There's fight nights that I've had that I can't remember anything. I've turned up to a arena, had a 12-round fight come home and not even known I've had a fight. I've been, I've lost weeks at a time. Me man, because I've been diet and so hard me bodies just gone into complete overdraft. I've drove home from Sheffield, multiple occasions, and not remember the single thing of how I've got home and drove. I've been on autopilot. And that's just, that's training camp, that's life. So she starts to understand it, outdated or some real it was as time went on. So once I've won the World Health, she's like, "You need to stop now. It's time to just be a dad." And I'm like, "No, it's not. It's, you know, I've got to financially secure this." So then I made the audacious thing to target a man with a pound sign on his head. And the man who had that pound sign on his head was David Hay. The way I looked at David, I knew David from way back from Spartan many years ago and he paid me. If you've ever seen the program Red Dwarf, number H, David had a pound sign on his head like H had them Red Dwarf to me, but no one else could see it, it was just me. Added to the fact I knew I could beat him. I always knew. Because I spotted him 10, 15 years previously. After I won that first ABA title, I'm talking about David Hay. It's a Spartan partner for one day. And I'd never ever been, it's still to this day, it's the hardest I've ever been hit. He hit me so hard with 16-ounce gloves on the headguard. It made me back like a donkey out of nowhere. And it always stuck with me, but I took it. I didn't go down. I should have went down. I still don't notice how it didn't, but I took it. Said some good shot. And I always remember the look on his face of, "How the fuck are you still standing?" And that look, and then me being able to go at him and put it on and stuck with me forever and then me dropping him later on in the Spartan session, let me know, even though he said, "It should have given me a thousand pounds, David." You'll always owe me a thousand pounds. If you drop David, you got a thousand pounds and cash off Adam Booger's coach at the time. I didn't get it because he said it was his leg. He had a hamstring problem, that's why he went down. Absolute bollocks. I put him down on one knee. He still owes me a grand. But, yeah, I knew him. I actually knew after that Spartan session, I'm going to fight this man later in my career. I told David Price on the day, me and David Price sparred on that day. He was getting really to fight Mark Hobson, and I said to David Price after that Spartan session, "I'm going to fight him one day." David Price is bunnying as well, didn't he? Yeah. And David said, "What are you running about?" Price said to me, "I said, 'I'm telling you, one day I'm going to fight that man, and I chased him me whole career. I knew one day I'd get him one day, and I'm on a paddle cross. I just don't ask me why I know that. I don't know how I know it. I just knew one day I'd fight him." And so, that conversation at the kitchen table with Rachel, you're telling her at that point after you've won that title that David Hayes next, and that it will make money? No, I didn't tell her he was next. I told her, me career is now all about money. It's no longer about my selfish needs and wanting to become world champion. She knows I can be the most selfish bastard in the world, and I've done it numerous times during life. I've just fucked off. Listen, when me brother died, I left, and I fucked off the chain camp. I'm the most selfish bastard you could meet. It's disgusting when I look back at it, but that's me. So, I'm not done anymore. I'm a different person than I was then. I change all the time, and I like to think, I'm not changing. I'm evolving. I'm getting better. I'm learning from new mistakes. But back in the day when I was fighting, I would just pack up and leave. So, you know, I went through the waste, time of me holding entire life at that stage, and I just packed up and fucked off. So, I can do that. When we lost Rachel's brother Ashley, that was the waste of me holding entire life. This was after you being David? That was after the first time I'd beaten, but I can just pack up and just get a goal. And then that was because, you know, why? Because I've got a job to do. And when I was fighting, it was a job. And it was only until I achieved my goals of becoming world champion that, and then it was a dream. Before I was world champion, I was chasing a dream and a goal. When that goal was achieved, I actually thought... I'll leave boxing alone, or I didn't think I'd give it 100%. When I became financially secure, I then realised it wasn't a dream. It wasn't the money that I was chasing. I need something to drive me in life. I've only realised that since I retired. So, yeah.


How much boxers actually make (50:49)

Do you remember that feeling of looking at your bank account after that first David Hayfire and thinking, "I'm a multi-millionaire now." And how... like, what was the feeling? The idea I informed me, so I've been waiting for about eight weeks. Maybe in a long time. Might have been 12 weeks for them, for the box office money to come through. But at this stage, I already know, in my mind, in the back, I've now completely relaxed. I've beat David, I've had the crazy results. I've now crossed over as well. I'm now a public figure. Like, as a world champion, yeah, I was known. I'd even done a rocky movie for folks like before this. So, I crossed over to a different kind of set up group of people. I crossed over to average person, so your grandmother's new me at this stage. Things like that. That's when you start fame really kicks in. But after beating David, it's now gone to another level, because David's a crossover star. David's a great-looking kid. He's fucking David Hay. He takes his top off. He looks a million dollars. He's David, and he's just the king of the world. When I beat him, it goes absolutely insane. And I'm living now in a different world, but I ain't got the money to be living the way I'd like to live right now. I've got enough of me accounts. The business has gone well. At this stage in time, now, after beating David, I've got enough to start buying properties and building up our property portfolio for the family and the kids, something I'd always planned on doing. But when he headphones me three months later, he goes, "Tomorrow, I'm just giving you the call. The box office money's landed." He said, "Tomorrow, you're going to look in your bank and get a multi-millionaire congratulations if anyone deserves it at you." The main idea of a backstory, and it's mad to think that I could have walked away from Eddie. I've never had the contract with Eddie in. I'm probably the highest profile fighter he's had, who's made him the most money who's never had the signed contract with, ever. And we dealt on a handshake. Baring my hand, I was a whale champion. With no dealing place, I was top property. After good with some park victory, the way I'd done it and the way I executed it, it was perfect. I then defend me whale title and I smash some guy called BJ Flores. Like, no one's ever done him before. I get rid of him, and then I get a phone call off of me £1.6 million. It's like David Hay on BT box office. And I say, "No." And Eddie tells me on the phone and says, "I can't offer you that money. You've got to take it." And I said, "I'm not going to take it." I said, "Be sure hands, and we're going to see this through." He says to me, "I can't give you that money. I ain't got that kind of money to give you right now." I said, "I know he wants to fight me now. He's going to deal with you because David didn't want to deal with Eddie. He didn't like Eddie." And yeah, so loyalty means just as much to me as well. But getting to that stage in my life was very, very difficult. I can't explain to you how hard it was. I'm believing in yourself, backing yourself. When that phone call came in, and at this stage, I've got a few hundred grand. I've got a few hundred grand. It's clear that I've paid me taxes. I've done stuff like that. But at the time it's in a company. So I'm not really... You can be a multi-millionaire, but it's stuck on a company. Mate, you mean a millionaire? Until you've got that money personally and the taxes paid in your van, which is very, very hard to do, that's when you're the multi-millionaire. So I had to wait a long time to get to that stage. But thankfully enough, I did the credit, I don't believe in myself. And I showed that I can be loyal even when tested at the most difficult of time because you can imagine when I've got that phone call at night, and this man's got me £1.6 million and says to me, "I know you don't trust where this money's coming from, but I can have it at your front door tomorrow." So this man says, "I can have it at your front door and believe you, me, this man could have £1.6 million in a suitcase at my front door the next day." And I say no to it. And at this time, I've got a wife who's listening to this phone call with me, and she's saying, "You better have a fucking good plan or you're going out this door." Because at this stage, now I've got three kids, and I've just knocked back £1.6 million and I'm basically worth £480, and that's in a company by the way as well. And they show up with me £1.6 million. It just quadruples me net worth. So, and I knock it back. I said this there, I still can't believe. I do a dusty to do it for me. That handshake means something. So we do it. We agree a deal. When the money comes in the bank, I'm not going to lie. It was what's it called when something is... Anti-climax? Yeah, it is. I've seen it, and I actually go to a cash machine and say, "I had online access and I could have done it that way, but I didn't. I wanted to go into it because I put the digits in. I put them on this." So, yeah, I wanted to see the actual, the zeros on the other thing and see what it looked like. And it was over. I was aware I'm looking for it. Just didn't. No. That's when I realised it wasn't about money. I just thought, "This is not all that's made out to be." I didn't. Nothing's changed. Me as a person. Nothing's changed in my life. I've still got three hungry kids. I've still got a wife I adore. Yeah. Not really changes. You know how it feels. Yeah, I know. I remember this.


Chimp Paradox (56:24)

I had the same anti-climax feeling I've talked about in this podcast a million times. If this wasn't it, Steve, this is what we thought we were aiming for. And if this isn't it, then what the fuck is it? And why was I doing all this stuff for? You know, why was I working hard and being obsessed? It makes me question. Why do I keep doing what? Why do I want to keep in? I think now I want to keep in and for the sake of, "I'm trying to pass it on." I tell myself that as well, but I think the insecure kid never dies in you. I think the kid. I know it's still in me now. I say to myself now, "Well, I just need to get to nine figures in my bank account." And I know why. Like, who do I need to show off to? I don't need to show. So, but I still am me. And then I have, I'd never really talk about this, but I have these little moments where I start looking at Lamborghinis again, just out of the blue, like four times a year. And then sometimes it overflows and I'll send it to my manager. They'll go, "What do you think if I bought this range of this Rolls Royce?" Or I send it to my girlfriend. I go, "Hi, babe. What do you think? What are you fucking... I'm sorry." And I'll just be like, "I woke up again." Like the kid took over the control room for it. Someone sent me a book. I've actually done all of that on the audio book and I haven't done it. Is it the chimp paradox? He sat here, Steve Peters, the author. I haven't read this and I haven't done this to you, but people have said to me, "You should really read it." And what you're saying to me, kind of, is the inner chimp is it? Yeah, do you all have it? The chimp brain, which is the kind of irrational, impulsive ego. It's where your anger and all of those things exist. Yeah, so I don't know. I've just been taught, I've got it on the audible because I don't really read the books no more. It actually looks like I just listened to them. It's changed a lot of people's lives. I absorb it better, has it? I only listen to audiobooks as well, other than... I actually downloaded your audiobook for $9.99. And then I was going between both of them. So I was going, like, I'd read this and I'd read like chapter two. Do you understand that okay? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I always think... I try and slow down. If I'm talking to another sculptor, it's out of control. No, it's always better when the author narrates it as well. But you should read that book, "Chimp Paradox." If there's one book which honestly helps you understand yourself and you go, "I wish someone had fucking told me this 20 years ago about my own brain." It's that with your relationships, why sometimes you argue with your wife, how to get control of those emotional moments. It's all about your chimp, like, taking over the brain. And Steve Peters, who's the author of the book, who is like this brain scientist who traveled all the way down from somewhere at the top of the country just to sit here and tell me about the chimp thing. Genius. That book, my business partner's an alcoholic and had suicide ideation and didn't know what was out of control with him. And he cites reading that book as the thing that made him change his life sober. It's mad the way that's just brought that up. Yeah, because of the way you explained things. Yeah, it's honestly really... And I actually was reading the author of the "Chimp Paradox" wrote like a second part to it. And I was reading it last week in Bali because I was having a bit of... I mean, my misses were arguing about something a little bit. And so I went to the page about emotional control just to understand why we have these arguments where we just repeat ourselves on cycles. Yeah. And it basically explains in there that the chimp part of your brain, which is the front of your brain, it will continue to do that until it feels heard. So I put the book and went back downstairs to my misses. And I went, I said to her, I said, "Just want to make sure that you understand I completely heard what you're saying." And I repeated back to what she said. She completely just stopped. Because the minute the chimp part of your brain feels like it's understood, then it's completely pacified. But until then, it will just... You know when your misses is like... Yeah, I know that one. So it's how to navigate life yourself and those around you. And it's all the chimp part of our brain causes us a lot of problems. I've got to read this fucking book. Yeah, no, for sure. I've just done the biggest plug in the world for it. That is brilliant. I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. As the seasons have begun to change, so has my diet. And right now, I'm just going to be completely honest with you. I'm starting to think a lot about slimming down a little bit because over the last couple of... Probably the last four or five months, my diet has been pretty bad. And it started to show a little bit. Really over the last two months, I go to the gym about 80% of the time. So I track it with 10 of my friends in a WhatsApp group in this track or online that we all use together. And so one of the things I'm doing now to reduce my calorie intake and trying to get back to being nutritionally complete and all I eat is I'm having the... ...heal protein shake. Thank you, heal, for making a product that I actually like. The salted caramel is my favorite. I've got the banana one here, which is where my girlfriend likes, but for me, salted caramel is the one.


Dealing with grief & depression (01:00:58)

One of the moments that you talk to her about you becoming, you kind of crossed over after that David Hayfire. One of the things I will never forget is the raw emotion that came out of you after you won that fight. - The first one on the second one. - The second one, I believe. - Yeah, that's when Ashley died. - Because Ashley's passing. Yes, that broke me to the core. Still does. I think I'm having a very single day. But yeah, that shit's horrible. He was like a brother to you and he... Yeah, he's Rachel's brother, so he's basically my brother. So Rachel's brother's and my brother's and my brother's and her brother's. I've known Rachel since she was nine years old. So Ashley's 18 months younger than her, so I've known Ashley since bloody. I like to make some seven in the first time I met him. Yeah, that was not nice, mate. And listen, don't get me wrong, it affects hair sisters and hair brothers and hair mothers and hair father far more than could possibly affect me. The part that affects me the most, I've tried me best to come to terms with losing ash. The part that gets me the most is out as he hit my wife. It just kills her to the core. Like, you've got to understand them two grown up, he's a multi-party grown up, basically like twins. So she adores him, he adores him to fight the argue constantly as siblings. And then one day he's here, the next day he's just gone. And he'd gone on holiday. He'd gone to be his best friend's best man. He was just a store basically went to a wedding abroad in the most unruly country in the world, Mexico, and just doesn't come home. So, yeah, actually if I haven't met, I still remember the day getting the phone call and shit like that, yeah. Horrible, horrible time, but there's not much I can say that as I've already been said, just the worst time in my life at it's something that I'll never truly understand. Never. That life could be so unfair. Yeah, just a kid who's innocent, a lovely lovely lad. Do you know what, if I could swap play some more that happened to him, it happened to me, I could have say, well, he's seen his lifelong dream go through. He's lived his life and he's done some bad shit too, so I can kind of accept it if it was myself. I just can't accept such a kid like that. It's just such a nice fucking hell. Just loved life, was happy, was always smiling, always telling jokes, the life of the party. Yeah, it's completely unfair. That's why I have the color red and the A.A. Angel. People think I'm some kind of baseball fan. I couldn't give a shit about baseball. But as people will know, the red A on my arm is for Ashley. And it's in red because he was a model of pro-fandom, followed him everywhere. So people think I absolutely hate red, but I don't now. I actually wear it with a bit of pride. So yeah, it's so many things. Like the kid looked up to me as well. So yeah, hard, hard time. Losing him was the hardest thing that's ever happened in my life. I've been a man, I've lost two grandparents, seen people dying, lots of crazy scenario situations. Yeah, but not in the effect of me like that. That was worse than Jimmy. That was just fucking... Just here one minute gone the next. Yeah, gone. So what can you do? He said that nearly impacted your relationship with Rachel as well. Yeah, definitely. He'd be great. Definitely. Without a shadow, without a mean. I'd hope it bring us closer, but I just don't think my wife will ever get over it. Well, I know she wants a little brother. And especially when you haven't been given the answers that we should have been given. And there is answers. There's people that could give us the answers, but they won't. So yeah, very, very hard. That's how my wife breaks from my wife and her sister's, and her sister and her brother, and her mother and father especially. A child, a parent should never bury a child in any way, shape or form. That is the most hollow and frightening thing you could possibly imagine. Lose the money of your children. How do you go through it? And how do you get through it? I'll never know. So yeah. Very hard. I always think of the selfish things I've done once again. I've just fucking off the camp. After the time, just 'cause I had to honor that rematch. I gave me where to fight him again. And I should not have to regret, but I found a way to get through it. And navigate through and got the job done. You regret giving him your word that you'd fight him or going through it? No, I can't go through it. I should never have done it selfish when I look back. But that's me. I gave me where to. And when it gives someone your word, you've got to honor it. When you fucking off the camp. Is that like a form of escapism where you like, the fucking off the camp becomes this distraction where you don't have to face the pain? The pain on the shoot. And bear in mind, I'm definitely facing the pain because I just climb myself to sleep every night down in Sheffield. Every night, I climb myself to sleep. But I know my wife's at home crying so I'll sleep as well. Me kids are with her. Oh yeah. I do that for three months. So I go to camp for 12 weeks at a time. 14 weeks for that one because I know I had to lose axi-mountal weight. Yeah. And you were learning a hotel room crying? Yeah. Holiday and express in Sheffield. Me, the microwave and the iPad. And me just sobbing. Yeah. I used to go to pictures once a week as well on my own and just sit there. The times I've cried and I've pitched it on my own and I've just had a cap on me head over and just cried watching films because I just... It's my cause I can deal with losing Ashley. I can't deal with seeing my wife in pain. That I can't change. That's the worst part. She's still in pain. She wouldn't speak to anyone about it. She had just bought a letter. I don't want that she could come to terms with but she can't. I know she can't. It's the worst feeling in the world man. It's helpless. So, yeah. It's tough. In one of your interviews when you're talking about this, you reference that phase of your life I think has been you feeling like you were depressed. Is that accurate? You felt depressed through that? That's what depression feels like. I don't want to tap on that kind of weird because I feel people use it these days to the benefit. I feel people abuse it. I feel like it's used today as a contraction part. It's against traction. People actually aim from money from saying they're depressed. If that's what depression was, yeah. Crayons of the sleep and not being able to solve a problem for the life of you. You don't know how to solve it. And like nothing made me happy. Nothing. Like nothing. The only time I was ever happy is when I seen a smile. When I seen her smile and that was very briefly in that period of time. Like even now to the start. I'm looking at it and now she's thinking about it with it. Even now we've been past... We've five years in August. Yeah, four or five years in August. And I know she's thinking about it. I just know. But I can't change that. And that's the saddest part because as a husband, I should be able to do something about that. But I can't. That's the one thing. If you're... I'm a husband, I'm a part. I should be able to be there for it. I'm... Be the comfort blanket, but I can't. I can't change it. So, yeah, that's hard. It's tough. You said you'd never spoken to anyone about it. But have you spoken to anybody about it? No, I went on SIS and that's where I found out I was fucked up. So, going on that show, I've never seen it back so I don't know what I've done or I've said some of the things, conversations we had. I don't know. But at that point I knew I had a problem because I went on that show thinking I've completed life. I've seen through me lifelong dream. I've done this and I've done that. I've got what I set out to get. I've fucking held on finance. He's secure. He could ease over. I'm retired. I'm supposed to just enjoy getting fat now and enjoy playing golf. And it was on that show that I realised that I'm not... I'm carrying the burden of what's gone on. And I'm just constantly wanting to make me wife happy. I'm trying to make sense of how I can fix my wife's situation. That's where I found out on that show. Because I was just broken down. And to be fair to my middleton it was his process that made me realise that. It also made me realise what's important in life. Fucking nothing because it's important to watch in the four walls of my house. Nothing matters. Nothing genuinely matters. I've got some great friends and I love them like brothers. I really do. But I'm sorry to say it doesn't matter. It don't matter. It just me, Mrs and me kids. Did no one in this world actually needs me? It depends on me to the amount that they need me. I put them kids on this plan. I've got to look after them. I've got to give them the best of possibly can. Cheesemy wife. I've got to be the best I can possibly be for day. Not necessarily matters. Not much. And being on that show made me realise that. My phone is just a fucking distraction. I don't need to spend all day on my phone. I spend too much time on it as it is. But I'm trying to implement things now. When I go home, that phone doesn't need to be there. Like I'm trying my best to just not to leave the phone alone in the house. It's very hard to do by the way. I'm sure you'll know that as well. But I'm trying to implement things differently in my life. And that show helped me see that. Definitely did.


How to deal with hard moments (01:10:53)

At the start of this conversation you said when you're talking about your brother that you'd to survive, you'd put this kind of protective wall around yourself. Yeah. And often when I sit here with Patrice Hever as a good example, he grew up in the streets of France and he put this protective wall around himself. His brothers are drug dealing, they're overdosing, died in the house, etc. So he puts the shield around himself to try and survive. And then it's not until his later years that like 30, 40 years old after he's retired in his afterlife, as you call it in chapter 12, 11 of your book, that he realised that protective shield is actually, it's protected him from his early years, but now it's costing him as an adult. It's meaning that he's not able to properly connect on an emotional level. He's running from his pain. He's defensive. He's got a lot of anger. And so he goes on the journey, thanks to his part. Now, when she turns to him one day and goes, you're not okay. And he goes, he gets angry, what do you mean? I'm not okay. And she says it again, she goes, you're not okay. What's wrong? And in that moment at 40 years old, he just lets it down. And he says everything from my head teacher abused me, sexually abused me at school. All of these things that happen in his childhood. But I was wondering when you said that, start the conversation, that shield you put up to help you survive after you finish, after you finish boxing, and I'm guessing it's not serving you. No, I don't. Well, it makes sense to put his heaven on why he's saying I'm happy and stuff like that. He's actually fucking, no. I get it. I understand this side and I understand. But then, I feel like I've given up the same part I'll never give up. Right. I just want it because I wouldn't, I can give so much, I can't give everything. So I'll hope. And that could be pain, that could be torment, that could be shit that's gone on in me earlier life. I don't know, but I won't give everything. You say that on the show. You say, you actually say you'd never write a book. Yeah, it is. Yeah. I never see a psychologist and I'll never write a book because I don't want to go back there. Yeah. It's not that. And I don't want to paint it out to be any waste in any of the kids because it's not. I've got me in under, so obviously some shit there. But, yeah, it's just, what's the point? I can't change the past. So you won't speak about it? Yeah, it's not to really speak about it. Just, it is what it is. It's been and gone. I can't change it. So, there's no point in discussing it. Like, I went to New York on the weekend and just because I got to the airport, I had to shitload the shit. Just get to the airport. I'm always early. I'm never late for anything. I arrived to the airport. I got to the airport. I said, "I don't need to test." So, I said, "Okay, well, no one told me I need to test." So, "Okay, let's, where do I do? What do I do?" Go down to the first floor. They've now, I'm now half an hour away and I'm not checking yet from the flight. And I'm at the front of the queue sitting there waiting for the thing. Go down to the next door, "Okay, now we've had another problem. There's a different name on your ticket than there is on your passport." I said, "Okay, well, sound. I'm not in control of any of this." Young man comes over to me from Virgin and he says, "Right, you've got to be at your plane in ten minutes and the gate's fifteen minutes away." I said, "Okay, sound." He says to me, "Can I just say something?" He said, "We get through this to check out bit and we used to put all your shit in the bag and stuff." He said, "I've never seen anyone so calm. You're going to miss a flight." I said, "You want me to tell you something good?" I said, "Why am I going to get stressed out about things? I can't change. I have no impact. I can't do anything to change." If I start shouting and screaming and blaming the people who are involved in this, it's not going to change the situation. So why would I get whipped up about it?" He said, "Wow, that was amazing. I've never seen anyone say that. I wish you could tell everyone who comes on Virgin Airlines, that problem." I was like, "It's just a part of me life that I'm in now." So I don't see the point in going backwards and talking about old stuff when I can only change what's in front of me and I can only change what's on my path. By going back, I'm only just going to lift the can of more pain and hate and shit that I've done that's wrong. To be fair, I think about it, enough of the wrong things I've done or enough of the bad things that have happened to me. Anyway, so I don't see what talk on a bad and what solve. If I can just keep moving on and keep moving forward, I'll remain in the happy place. I try to remain in the happy place as much as I can, but life's different, you know. People look at you and think you're a success story. They look at the money. They look at the scenario and the setup you've got, but they are happy. That's all that matters. I don't care if you've got a pound in your bank or you've got 100 million in your bank. Are you happy? That's all that matters. So all I'm trying to say to what every day is that feeling of happy. Yes, I understand there is a need for money. I would be a fool if I said I don't work for money. Of course I do. I've got to get what I'm with. But at the same time, I'm a happy. Are you happy? Yes, with the life I've created, yes. Do I feel it's complete? No. Do I have unhappy days? Absolutely, yes. I'm a happy every single morning when I wake up. No. Not at all. I don't believe anybody is. And if you are, show me your fucking recipe. Please, because I'll drink it up. But no, I'm not forever happy, but if I look at me life and what I've generated and what I've created, yes, I'm happy. I'm happy with that. But I'm still striving. I'm still pushing towards goals. Whether that be where goals, whether that be, I always want to be better. Is that the problem with me? You said it's not complete? No. What would be required to complete it? I don't know. That's the frightening part. So I can keep chasing money. I can keep chasing deals. I can keep putting things in place. I can keep looking at that Rolls Royce that I could probably buy, but I can't justify it. Because as I said before, I look at it as a kid's money. I ain't spending their money on keeping a Rolls Royce, so that's just in the plan. I don't know. I don't know what's going to make me happy. Try and just keep getting better at whatever I'm doing. Try and keep a work in relationship and a lifestyle relationship, both of them work in tandem, so I can remain happy. But keep also enough time to spend with my kids and family. Because ultimately, I've got to work and need something to focus on. I was retired for two years and basically not aired. I've never seen me for 12 months. I just enjoy getting fat. And yeah, just being one of the lads with me made to it and then I soon realized, shit, I need something to focus on. Why? Because life just... I can't just be a home, be a dad and be a husband and just sit there and get fat. I mean, what kind of example on the sentence of my kids? Is there a part of it that your life was so full of adrenaline and that's super addictive, that buzz? And then, I mean, fights talk about this a lot and we've furious talked about this a lot. And then that struggle of just going back to... You said it in the end, you're not very good at normal life. No, I'm not good at that. I've definitely had... Yeah, I'm not good at just being a... I couldn't be a nine to five dad. Like, that in itself is a fucking great strength. That is an enormous amount of strength that you should give them a pat on the back. But everyone out there doing nine to five, I've done it. I've tried it. I've worked in next, I've worked in... A pillow factory, I've worked as a lifeguard, I've worked nightclub security, daytime security. I've worked as a laborer. I've done some mad stuff. I've done every possible thing you can imagine. I understand it. I've sat in an office. I've worked as a chain of accountants. So I have the best with that. It's hard. Nine to five jobs are hard. Anything worth doing is hard. Anything to be the best at something is very hard. This thing that you think you're kind of looking for to complete you, as you said, does it scare you that it might not even exist? It doesn't exist. Not the frightening part. I know it doesn't exist. But that I also understand and know that no one can feel absolutely complete. Because otherwise, we wouldn't be doing the things we're doing. The complete person doesn't exist. That's bullshit. That's fairytale. So you show me a complete... If you can show me a fully complete, happy person, I'll show you a unicorn. It just doesn't exist. Well, I'm still chasing it. Well, I'd like to think so. Quick one. We bring in eight people a month to watch these conversations live here in the studio when we're here in the UK and when we're in LA. If you want to be one of those people, all you've got to do is hit subscribe.


Closing Question

Our last guest's question (01:19:36)

Tony, we have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest writes a question for the next guest. Wow. Yeah. And I don't read it until I open this book. So if money were no issue and completely unlimited, what would that enable for you? And then they've done the second part to the question. How would you put it to use to further your vision? So if money was no issue, it would be no issue. It would be creative. I'm not a designer. It would be things for me. Kids that are a password. So I've always thought about when I die. So leaving, making sure they're safe. Would you give them all the money though? That's a big question. Would they give them all the money? Yeah, your kids. If I was a billionaire. Yeah. No. Not all of it. Are you not a bit scared? Because you come from the place you come from. It's not the place they go from. They go from to this. Yes. I understand that. Even though me elder son wanted to be the same, which it can never be. He would never understand. He likes to think he can because he was born, where he was born, and where he served the first few years of his life. He's seen us have difficult times. He remembers sharing the bedroom with his brothers. He remembers, I can't even say that no. He's always had the best. The kids always had the best. Even when I didn't have any other. So, yeah. If that was entailed, if money was no object. If I sent you a billion right now, not that I have it, but if I did, I sent you a billion. What changes? How the billion. Does it scare you a little bit of thought of getting a billion? No. Good. No. Money doesn't mean much to me anymore. It's like fame. Fame is just an expectation. Fame is just an intrusion of privacy. That's all it is. It doesn't mean anything. Tell people all the time. Social media is the biggest problem we're dealing with. Everyone's showing everyone the destination and no one the journey. Everyone just sees where you came from. No one sees this. Everyone just sees this point up here and this point down here. No one sees that uphill struggle, the fight to get where you need to get the hours of determination, of work, of all the stuff you put in. No one sees that journey. And if I could have that money and show that, it would be more in showing people the journey. That's why I would use that money for show people. Show everyone that they're capable of everything I've done. I tell the people all the time, "I am no one special." The guy just stopped me outside. He gave me a shot hands with me. He said, "Can I show you something?" Right outside, and I just pulled up outside here. "Did you come across your camera?" I said, "Fire away." I said, "Stop believing I'm someone special." He said, "Do you mean I don't look at this?" He just showed me a picture on social media. I have no idea what the guy's name was, but he said, "Look at that." He said, "This hope for all fackids." It was a picture of me after I'd just beat up David Hay. It was a picture of him, that was posted months ago, that he showed me. I said, "Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate that." Now, if that can't show you, I can be achieved. And nothing can catch that's all I am. Fack it from Liverpool. You never gave in. You never gave up. I always believed in himself. If I can do it, so can everyone else watching this. Thank you, Tony. It's an absolute pleasure. Honestly, really remarkable, inspiring. The thing that I think the mark you left on me as I watched your journey play out is that it's possible to be a really good, honest, legit person who is exactly who you think they are. When you see them on screen, who's willing to pour their heart out, who doesn't need to engage in these shit-talking games that David Hay was doing, who can be so real and connect with so many people because of their realness and their honesty while also being this unbelievable champion that was considered and underdog for so many years and that did it all. So thank you so much. It was a pleasure reading this as well because your book is as real as you are. And as you say from the guy outside, it's an inspiration to so many young men that need that. So thank you very much. Thank you so much. You should try and be authentic and be yourself. It's all we can really be. I mean, there's no point in pretending to be anyone else or trying to be something that you're not because ultimately in the end, your colours will come shining through and you will see who you are. So thank you very, very much. It's been an absolute episode and a half coming here and seeing your environment and finding out about you as well. You've done amazing to come from the background. You've come from it to do what you should be very proud to yourself. Thanks, man. It means a lot of time for me. Thank you. Pleasure. Thanks. As you might know, crafted one of the sponsors of this podcast and crafted are a jewelry brand and they make really meaningful pieces of jewelry. And this piece by crafted, when I put it on, for me, it represents courage. It represents ambition. It represents being calm and loving and respectful and nurturing, while also being the antithesis of that, seemingly the antithesis of that, which is sometimes a little bit aggressive with my goals and determined and courageous and brave. The really wonderful thing about crafted jewelry is it's super affordable. It looks amazing. The pieces hold tremendous meaning and they are really well made.


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