Tom Knight - My Inspiration

My Inspiration

My biggest inspiration growing up was Mario Ceser Kindelan. Mario is a Cuban amateur who dominated the 60kg category for the most part of his career.

Over many years at the top of his game he managed to capture 2 Olympic gold medals and 3 World amateur titles along with several American games gold medals.

Some people will probably remember him for stopping Amir Khan from winning the Gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004; Amir then went on to beat him in a rematch televised by the BBC – this was Amir Khan’s last amateur fight!

What struck me about Mario Kindelan and many other Cuban fighters is that it is one of the poorest boxing countries and the likelihood of opportunity for a country like that to succeed in sport is slim.


Or so you would think.

Cuba are one of, if not the best boxing nation. However, only some make it professional because leader Fidel Castro made it illegal for sportsmen to compete for money.

Mario Kindelan and every other Cuban fighter was brought up with nothing. They were brought up in boxing schools where they live, go to school and train around the clock to be fighters.

They can't afford the basics, like gloves, shorts, footwear or even training equipment. They use what they can find, such as hanging massive tyres from beams to punch instead of a real punch bag. I thought 'wow, if these guys can be so good when they have so little, why can't I?'

After all, it's all they have; they literally breathe boxing.

It comes as easy to them as walking does to you and I because of the one chance that they could become something better and create a better life for their families.

If we all lived like our dreams were the only thing that mattered, we would all achieve a decent level of success. Hard work is only half of the equation, the hunger and the ‘never die’ mind-set can turn an ordinary man into a champion.

Now my greatest inspiration is my family. I turned professional in 2012 after the news that my first son was on the way and I decided I should turn professional to start earning money and turning my passion into my business. Now I have a fiancé, a son who is now 2 and a half and I have another son aged 3 months.

I see myself in 'Mario Kindelans' shoes; do I stay here being an average joe or do I work my ass off and become a champion and give my family a better life and my kids the life I dreamt of. I focus on this every day and think about my life and how it has changed everything I have achieved and lost. I drive myself by thinking of everything I can achieve for my family and the life I want to make for them and put all of that into everything I do.

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