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John Harding Jnr: ‘Don’t give up. Just keep going’

John Harding
Andrew Fairley talks to John Harding, a man who beat the odds

When and why you started boxing:
Well I actually wanted to do kickboxing but when I inquired at the gym they only did boxing and they talked me into joining.

Favourite all-time fighter:
My favourite is Roy Jones Jnr. He was a brilliant boxer.

Best fight you’ve seen:
The Errol Spence Jnr-Shawn Porter fight last year. It was back and forth, and the pace was fantastic.

Personal career highlight:
Just being in the position where I am today, when at one point it looked unlikely that I’d get here.

Toughest opponent:
Anthony Fox in only my second fight [d pts 4 – April 2017]. I still wasn’t used to the ring and the nerves back then. To have him steaming at me was a big lesson that helped me to develop as a fighter.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My strengths are my consistency and willingness to learn. My weakness is treats – nice things to eat!

Training tip:
Listen to your body and don’t overwork yourself. Remember that rest is training! Be patient, as your time will come.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
I love so many things – hot wings and prawns, lamb, fried chicken, chips. I can go on and on!

Best friends in boxing:
I don’t keep many close friends in boxing, apart from my team.

Other sportsman you would like to be:
I’d like to be someone like Michael Jordan. I just think he’s incredible.

Last film/TV show you saw:
I recently watched The Last Dance on Netflix – a documentary series about the Chicago Bulls.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
I’d pick Denzel Washington to play me.

Have you ever been starstruck:
When I met Tommy Hearns!

Last time you cried:
It was at my mother’s burial.

Best advice received:
Never doubt. God uses us to touch people’s lives, so don’t give up. Just keep going.

Worst rumour about yourself:
‘Don’t trust him. He’ll only go back to prison. It’s like he lives there.’

Something not many people know about you:
I’m a loyal person and I like ‘70s and ‘80s classics.

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