SAM Stokes says he is fighting for his brother’s memory in his professional boxing career.
The 23-year-old from Basildon will be managed by Greg Steene and is being trained by Frank Greaves in the countdown to his paid debut at the Camden Centre on Friday, July 18.
Stokes has ambitions to win titles and says that whatever he achieves in the ring, it will be for brother Billy, who was just eight years old when he died in 2000.
Stokes said: “Everything I do in boxing is for Billy. I’ve named my son after him and now I want to win titles for him.” Stokes was beaten just once – on a disqualification – in around 20 amateur and unlicensed fights, but has made changes in preparation for his professional debut.
He has slimmed down to 12st 12lbs for his debut and now feels in great shape.
“I’ve made changes,” said Stokes. “I can box now, I’m not just a brawler who goes out there and gets stuck in.”
Ever since he was a boy, Stokes has been getting stuck in.
He grew up on a travellers’ site and feels fighting has always been a way of life for him.
“I’ve been fighting grown men since I was 14 years old,” said Stokes.
“Whenever we had any feuds, my dad would send me to sort it out.
“He would drop me off somewhere and there would be someone waiting to fight me.
“I used to lose a few when I was a kid but I won a few as well.
“I don’t want that for my kids, but it’s made me what I am today and I still love my dad.”
Stokes also thanked trainer Greaves and former champions Scott Honeywell and Danny Hunt for their advice.
Honeywell, Hunt and around 200 more supporters are expected to travel to the Camden Centre next month and Stokes plans to give his fans plenty to cheer in his ring career.
“I’m looking to win a British Masters title, then work my way up towards the British title,” he said.