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Meet the Punching Preacher – Derrick Osaze

Derrick Ozaze
Ultimate Boxxer
In his own words Derrick Osaze considers the boxing business and his own career

I’M actually a youth pastor so I was officially ordained in March of last year. Funnily enough I was ordained the day after my second pro fight. I came down to London, had my second pro fight, went straight back to Nottingham for my ordination ceremony the next day on Sunday. That’s obviously a massive part of my life. It’s not a job or a paid role. It’s completely voluntary off my own back. My main task or responsibility is offering pastoral care to young members who come to our church.

A pastor who is an accountant and a pastor who is a doctor is not different to a pastor who is a boxer. A boxer is my profession. People say you’re going in there to hurt people and what not. Really and truthfully there’s no boxer who goes into the ring with the intention of hurting someone to the extent where they have suffered a life threatening injury or they couldn’t do the sport again. That’s never a boxer’s intention. My intention is not to hurt someone, my intention is to go and win. For me to win is to hit and not to be hit. It’s a competition, it’s a martial art, that’s the way I see it.

A Midlands Area title shot will probably now be the next thing and then we’ll push on from there and maybe look at the English, look at the British, but now just getting the longer rounds in.

I’d like to do maybe an eight at least before jumping to 10, when that opportunity arises. I leave it to my coach and my manager. They will decide when it’s time to move up or to take certain opportunities. As long as I’m just keeping my head down and do what I need to do in the gym then I don’t really pay attention to that stuff.

My first TV show was winning Ultimate Boxxer. It’s been a good bit of exposure for myself and my career. It’s still early days. Ultimate Boxxer was an amazing platform to be on. It was a good stepping stone but it’s not a shortcut. You’d imagine that a lot of people would think that winning that tournament, there would be big promoters knocking on your door or contracts being put in front of you but really and truthfully we’re in a very interesting time in boxing right now where nothing is really guaranteed. For me I was always aware of that.

I understand the boxing industry now is quite interesting. When you think of some of these people who work with big promoters, a lot of them are not actually signed to big promoters. We’re in a time in the boxing business where everything is case by case. You can box on a big show but the promoter may have no contractual obligations to guarantee you fights. So I’m well aware of the current climate in boxing. Unfortunately today it’s more than just about your exploits in the ring, how good you are, what belts you have. Unfortunately it’s a business where it’s about the whole package and everything. Of course Ultimate Boxxer has helped but I’m not oblivious to the state of pro boxing. If anything the KSI and Logan Paul fight just shows you that unfortunately your following and your media presence carries a lot more weight than even world titles, because Billy Joe Saunders is going to be on the undercard of two Youtubers!

I’m not surprised. I don’t want Ultimate Boxxer to be the highlight of my career. We’re pushing on to bigger and better things. Just stay patient.

I beat some decent guys but the aim was to win, whether I boxed Kieron Conway, Tey Lynn-Jones or anyone else.

Fair play to Kieron. He gave a very good account of himself [for the British title later on]. I tried to explain to people boxing’s a funny sport. First of all, I’m not a light-middleweight, unless I lose a leg. He had an amazing opportunity presented to him and he took it with both hands. He did really well. Good luck to him, everyone’s path is different. That just shows you the industry of boxing right now. Sometimes it’s not about what you do in the ring, it’s about having the right timing and the right opportunities present themselves. Good luck to him, everyone’s path is different. I know that my time will come.

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