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John Hedges, the six foot five teenager out to make an impression at light-heavyweight

John Hedges
James Chance/Getty Images
John Hedges will box on the February 27 O2 Arena show

When and why you started boxing:
My brother boxed, my dad boxed. I come from a fighting family.

Favourite all-time fighter:
It changes but I’d have to say Canelo Álvarez, for his inside and outside the ring performance.

Best fight you’ve seen:
Michael Katsidis versus Graham Earl – an all-time great fight.

Personal career highlight:
Signing for Matchroom on my 18th birthday. To get with Eddie Hearn right from the start, it’s pretty much unheard of.

Toughest opponent:
I boxed a Swedish lad in the Schwerin Box Cup tournament. I won gold but it was war of a fight.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My best attributes are my boxing brain and I know how to use my height. I need to not just be a quick picky puncher but also be a power puncher.

Training tip:
Train very hard but don’t overtrain. Rest is as important as the training.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
After a fight I like a really greasy Chinese takeaway and then a day after I go for a nice Italian steak.

Best friends in boxing:
My management team, and the family we’ve made at our stable, Mark Tibbs, Johnny Fisher, Harvey Horn, Tommy Fletcher. We all train together. It’s a great team.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:
Someone like Ronnie O’Sullivan. He doesn’t get punched, he keeps his marbles. It’s a great sport, you can’t really get too old for it.

Last film/TV show you saw:
After Life, the new series, it’s good.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
Leonardo DiCaprio. I look a little like him with the curtains and you see how good he done in Wolf of Wall Street.

Have you ever been starstruck:
Tyson Fury. I live close to Cambridge and I was ordering food and he came in behind me. We sat on a park bench and ate together.

Last time you cried:
It would probably be the last time I lost a fight, back in the amateurs.

Best advice received:
Jimmy Tibbs telling me to put on a bit of weight. When I turned pro I thought unless I boxed at super-middleweight I would never have a chance.

Worst rumour about yourself:
I got a lot of criticism after my debut, there were a lot of haters. I took quite a bit of abuse online. That’s when I decided to switch [trainer] to Mark Tibbs and it was the best move I’ve ever made.

Something not many people know about you:
After I boxed in the [Schwerin] the whole of my face dropped on the left hand side. It looked like a stroke. I went to the hospital and they shaved my head ready to operate on me and it turned out it wasn’t a blood clot, it was actually Bell’s Palsy, is a virus that affects the muscle tissue in your face.

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