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60 second interview: Omari Grant

Omari Grant
David Wainwright speaks to a grime artist in Omari Grant

When and why you started boxing:

I took part in a white-collar boxing match to raise money for charity. I did it for moral support for a friend of mine.

Favourite all-time fighter:

Marvin Hagler because of his work ethic. He put so much dedication into his craft, had a granite chin and knew how to switch. That’s the ultimate fighter for me.

Best fight you’ve seen:

Aaron Pryor-Alexis Arguello – the first one. Perpetual motion versus an immovable object.

Personal career highlight:

Beating Dean Jones [on points over six rounds] in October last year. I was working full-time at Boots on the night shift and I didn’t have a coach at the time. Winning the fight showed me what I had inside me, considering all the obstacles that I had in my way beforehand.

Toughest opponent:

They’ve all been equally tough. It wouldn’t be right for me to pick out just one of them.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

My best attributes are my heart and determination. My worst is that I overtrain sometimes and I don’t know when to rest. Recovery is just as important as training.

Training tip:

When you’re training and it hurts, that’s when you’ve really started training.

Favourite meal/restaurant:

Either a jalfrezi or rogan josh from Bombay Nights in Nottingham.

Best friends in boxing:

My trainer Chris Slatcher and [fellow Nottingham pro] Brad Daws.

Other sportsman you would like to be:

Bruce Lee.

Last film/TV show you saw:

An old kung fu film called The Deadly Mantis.

Who would play you in a film of your life:

[Creed star] Michael B. Jordan.

Have you ever been starstruck:

When I met [grime artist] Dread One. I recognised him by his voice.

Last time you cried:

When my grandma passed away before I turned professional. She was a real inspiration to me and had always encouraged me to become a pro.

Best advice received:

Be genuine and be yourself.

Worst rumour about yourself:

That I’m mean and selfish.

Something not many people know about you:

I produced my own CDs and sold them for £10 under my [grime artist] stage name, Kriptik, promising free personal delivery. I booked a coach and travelled all over the country delivering them. I turned a bad thing good, as I was living in a YMCA at the time.

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