Little more than a year on from having been homeless and hopeless, Jack Fay insists the challenges he has faced outside the ring will help him in Saturday’s BOXXER Series cruiserweight tournament.
Fay is one of eight fighters who will battle it out for substantial prize money on what could be a life-changing night in Manchester, with the full tournament live on Sky Sports.
The tournament represents the latest crossroads in Fay’s life, with the 26-year-old having already overcome significant obstacles to make it to this point.
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“I was in care for about eight years,” Fay told Sky Sports News. “My key worker was one of my coach Shaun Litherland’s best friends, and that’s how I got to meet Shaun and how I got into boxing.”
While boxing helped keep Fay on track in his late teens and early adult life, a combination of the coronavirus pandemic and family issues left him without enough work to afford somewhere to live.
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“A week ago it would have been a year to the day since I was homeless,” Fay said. “I was staying at the Salvation Army last year.
“I was struggling to find work, I didn’t have any money and I wasn’t in the best situation with my mum and dad, so I had no choice.
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“I was still boxing, I was still training and I was still finding ways to get to work.
“It was horrible. I felt like nothing was getting better but when my first professional fight was coming up and I’d trained so hard and was getting all this exposure, I felt brand new again. I got like a new lease of life.”
Fay won on his professional debut in May 2021, and now a year on believes he is ready to seize his opportunity on the big stage.
Fay has revealed he was homeless little more than a year ago
“The experience can help me,” Fay said. “I’ve matured a lot in the last year.
“Forget record, forget the [boxing] experience, it’s down to who wants it most – who’s got the heart?
“Some people crumble under the spotlight and that’s not me.”
Dylan Cheema won last month’s BOXXER lightweight series after defeating Rylan Charlton in the final
Fay will learn his quarter-final opponent when the draw takes place on Thursday, but he is adamant the result will be the same whoever he comes up against.
“I’m very proud of where I’ve come so far but my story isn’t finished yet,” Fay said.
“I think I’ve got an exciting style, I get stuck in. I’ve got good technical ability. I know on my good day I’ll beat anyone in this competition.”
Watch The BOXXER Series, a dramatic one-night tournament, in vertical format from 7pm on Saturday May 14.