Labourer Quits His Job To Become A Bare-Knuckle Boxing Champion
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A labourer has binned his day job to become the most dangerous bare-knuckle boxer in the world.
Mickey Parker, from Leigh Park, Hampshire, is currently in training for what will be the biggest fight of his life.
But while the ultimate goal is to become a British champion, the 36-year-old, who has been in and out of prison in the past, says the sport has given him a new life.
He told the Sun: "BKB has completely changed my life.
"Before I was involved in it I was somewhat a little rogue getting in trouble all the time and genuinely not being a nice person.
"My wife went through hell with me and her and my daughter had such a hard time when I was younger due to me being in prison.
"But the second I laced up a pair of boxing gloves, my life changed forever and since turning over as a pro with BKB I live a completely different life.
"I had a lot of unlicensed fights and a few people mentioned BKB to me because of the way I fought, then my coach took me to BKB5 to watch his friend and now mine, Kevin Bennett, win the world title and I've been hooked ever since."
Speaking about his journey, Mickey said he took a huge amount of inspiration from heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, who shed the pounds and overcame his battle with depression to reach the top of his sport.
It's a story that Mickey has looked to when motivating himself to put in the hard yards, including shedding three stone himself to get into the shape of his life.
"Tyson Fury is someone I look up to," he says. "And his journey to become world champion again is genuinely like a story from a movie.
"How that man lost that amount of weight and then went to America twice to box the head off Deontay Wilder both times is beyond me.
"That man gets nothing but respect from me."
Since September 2017, Mickey has secured five wins in his seven fights, and has recently dropped down to cruiserweight.
He is now in training for a date at the O2, which he hopes will be the springboard to the big time.
"In my next fight I get the opportunity to achieve my goal and that is to win the British BKB title," he explains.
"I have my whole city behind me. The response round my area has been phenomenal and we are taking over 200 to the O2, so we're doing something right.
"People love watching fighting but there is something about people fighting without gloves that everybody loves to watch.
"BKB is being accepted as a real sport nowadays with more and more pro boxers actually coming over and boxing in our ranks.
"I'm just proud to be part of it and I truly believe BKB is going to be as big as UFC in the coming years."
But if you're still in doubt about Mickey's credentials as a genuine 'hardman', this might sway you.
Two years ago, he stepped into the ring to do battle, just 72 hours after chopping off part of his finger.
He says: "I basically fought with three-and-a-half fingers on one hand. And a lot of people have said they haven't seen me box any better."
Featured Image Credit: Mickey Parker
Topics: SPORT, Interesting