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Bailey Donald: ‘Freddie Roach told me, win or lose, work hard, never give up and then your dreams will come true’

Bailey Donald
John Arthur
Andrew Fairley talks to Bailey Donald, a man who received some words of wisdom from Freddie Roach

When and why you started boxing:
I started at around 10. I also played football back then but gave it up to focus on boxing.

Favourite all-time fighter:
Ricky Hatton. I liked his come-forward style and he seems really down to earth.

Best fight you’ve seen:
Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko, live at Wembley Stadium. I went with a load of mates and stayed in London for the night. It was a great atmosphere.

Personal career highlight:
As an amateur, it’d be boxing for England in the Three Nations competition on my 16th birthday. As a pro, it’d be making my debut at York Hall, as I’d always wanted to box there.

Toughest opponent:
In the amateurs, it’d be Jack Oliphant in the [2017] national Junior final. He’s a tough lad and went on to become European champion that year.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My strengths are my adaptability and footwork. I’m not going to highlight my weaknesses here!

Training tip:
Don’t cut corners in camp, otherwise you’ll come unstuck on fight night.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
I like any good steakhouse. Preferably Hawksmoor in Covent Garden, if someone else is paying!

Best friends in boxing:
Liam Wiseman, my head coach’s son. We’ve trained together for years.

Other sportsman you would like to be:
Conor McGregor. I’d like to give the UFC a go one day.

Last film/TV show you saw:
Jumanji: The Next Level.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
A young Tom Hardy. Everyone says I mumble and he’s good at doing that!

Have you ever been starstruck:
I met Freddie Roach when I was on holiday in California. We called into the Wild Card gym on the off chance and he was there. He showed us around and gave me an autograph. He’s a really nice guy.

Last time you cried:
When I lost in the national Junior final. At the time it felt like the worst day of my life.

Best advice received:
Freddie Roach told me that, win or lose, if you keep working hard and never give up then your dreams will come true. The following year I got to the national finals and boxed for England!

Worst rumour about yourself:
That I entered The X Factor. I can’t even sing!

Something not many people know about you:
I can’t pronounce ‘Birmingham’. I hope I never box there.

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