Since realising his Olympic dream and winning bronze at Rio, Joshua Buatsi is regarded as one of Britain’s best boxing prospects. In his tenth professional fight, Joshua defeated Liam Conroy to win the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt. All the while, Joshua balanced boxing with his studies, graduating from St Mary’s University with a degree in management and sports science in 2017. Joshua now has his sights set on the very best names in the Light-Heavyweight division. With his explosive punch, there’s no reason he won’t one day boast a World Title belt.
‘For me, it’s never been a choice between boxing or books – I’ve always wanted to pursue both. Enrolling in a management and sports science degree at St Mary’s University, I would juggle lectures and late-night essays, with training camps and strength sessions. It wasn’t easy, but I’m a stronger and more well-rounded person for it. Recognising the importance of having a diverse set of skills, I’m thrilled to support BoxWise further its mission to help young people develop the skills needed to thrive in and outside of the ring. Whether that’s helping them into further education, or supporting them into gainful employment, the work of BoxWise has never been more essential.’
Professional boxer Lawrence Okolie has several belts to his name. In 2018, he beat his rival Isaac Chamberlain to win the WBA Continental Title, before adding the Commonwealth, British and European belts to his armoury in 2019. Yet it was March 2021 that ‘The Sauce’ won the ultimate prize – the WBO World Cruiserweight Title. Life was not always this way for Lawrence. Growing up in Hackney, Lawrence worked at McDonalds flipping burgers until one day Anthony Joshua’s Olympic super-heavyweight fight flickered on the screen, and he vowed to quit his job, join a boxing gym, and work hard to make his boxing dreams a reality.
Lawrence says, ‘Growing up in East London, I know how difficult it is not to get drawn into gang culture. I feel incredibly fortunate to have avoided these dangers, owing a lot of who I am today to the discipline, adaptability, and sense of purpose that boxing instilled in me. I’m glad more young people will now be given the chance to benefit from boxing like I did, with BoxWise offering vital support to help disadvantaged young people maximise all opportunities available to them.’
Ayo Gordon is a successful entrepreneur, property investor, public speaker and mentor, who runs Millionaire Young, a platform that teaches people how to develop the right mindset to achieve financial freedom. However, for Ayo, the road to success has not been smooth. Growing up on a council estate in South London, Ayo was raised in a single-parent household and felt pressured to turn to crime to make a living. This was until one day, Ayo decided to take control of his life by making a commitment to himself to be successful young. Years of hard work followed, and Ayo achieved precisely that. He became a self-made millionaire by the age of 30 and celebrated by buying his mother a riverside apartment in London.
‘My pathway to success has certainly been a rocky one. I was in care aged 8 when my mum went to jail, I was expelled from school for fighting, and when I reached my teenage years, I was arrested almost every week. But I knew I needed to turn my life around. Through hard work, I’ve managed to achieve things I never thought would be possible. I hope to inspire others that it doesn’t matter where you come from, the ability to find success lies within all of us. It's for this reason I am proud to support BoxWise further its mission to empower disadvantaged young people to make successful transitions to adulthood.’
Anthony Crolla is a British former professional boxer who competed from 2006 to 2019. He held the WBA lightweight title from 2015 to 2016 and challenged once for the unified WBA and WBO lightweight titles in 2019. At a regional level, Ant held the British lightweight title from 2011 to 2012 and challenged once for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title in 2013.
Ant Crolla brings a huge amount of experience and knowledge to our organisation and plays a critical role in helping promote the work that we do within communities across the UK and Internationally.
Harlem Eubank is an undefeated super lightweight division boxer, who brings years of sporting experience to his position as a BoxWise Ambassador.
“Growing up playing sport taught me discipline, focus and essential life skills.
I walked into a karate dojo aged 7 and trained consistently for 4 years, gaining a black belt and 2 British titles consecutively. At 11 years old, I carried that sense of dedication and purpose into football training and began to play professionally for Brighton & Hove Albion for 5 years. But, when I was 18 years old, my passion for combat came knocking once again through boxing.
Boxing engaged me because of the way it helps develop you as a person both physically and mentally. After 4 years learning in the amateur ranks, I turned professional and have undertaken a record of 13 fights. I’m currently undefeated in the pro ranks, having overcome unbeaten challengers along the way.
It’s great that more young people will now have the opportunity to benefit from combat in the same way I did, with BoxWise serving as an incredible scheme for empowering young people and instilling the essential life skills that boxing brings.”