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‘My main strengths are my reach, endurance and warrior spirit.’ Meet heavyweight Joel Tambwe Djeko

Joel Tambwe Djeko
'Never give up. Even if you fail, it’s not the end, it’s just an experience.' Joel Tambwe Djeko reveals his real ambition to Paul Wheeler

When and why you started boxing:
I started when I was 15 because I wanted to improve my punching technique for Thai boxing.

Favourite all-time fighter:
Sugar Ray Robinson because of his amazing footwork, powerful punch and warrior mindset.

Best fight you’ve seen:
The first Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe fight.

Personal career highlight:
My wins at cruiserweight over Ricardo Snijders [ud 12 – May 2019] and Mariano Gudino [ud 10 – May 2018], who were both undefeated.

Toughest opponent:
The Snijders fight was really intense.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My main strengths are my reach, endurance and warrior spirit. I need to work on closing out fights with a knockout. This is important because it’s the only way to be recognised as a top heavyweight.

Training tip:
Always repeat the basics and remain focused in order to perfect your skills.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
I like to eat chicken alfredo pasta in Italian restaurants.

Best friends in boxing:
I never develop friendships with anyone in the boxing game, as a new friend today could be an opponent tomorrow.

Other sportsman you would like to be:
I’d like to be Usain Bolt.

Last film/TV show you saw:
The last series I watched was Power. I loved it!

Who would play you in a film of your life:
Idris Elba would be the perfect choice, as he’s able to act in a variety of different roles and genres.

Have you ever been starstruck:
No, I never have.

Best advice received:
Never give up. Even if you fail, it’s not the end, it’s just an experience.

Worst rumour about yourself:
I’ve never heard any rumours about myself.

Something not many people know about you:
My real ambition in life is to help communities in need. I like to offer assistance to the homeless and advise young people on how to get themselves on the right path. I’m currently developing my business in Africa in order to provide job opportunities for people, so that they can expand their skills and earn money to feed their families and invest in education for their children. I want to show them that they don’t have to immigrate to Europe in order to have a better future. There are lots of opportunities in Africa – the people just need some guidance. I feel like everyone should invest more of their time in others, as this would make the world a better place.

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