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Caoimhin Agyarko: 'I have been in a far worse situation, when I was stabbed. I know I will get through this'

 

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Caoimhin Agyarko

Caoimhin Agyarko

Getty Images

Caoimhin Agyarko

Caoimhin Agyarko

Getty Images

Caoimhin Agyarko

We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their daily lives.

Today, we speak to unbeaten Belfast boxing prospect  Caoimhin Agyarko.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: I'm not doing too bad. It's exactly three years ago that I was stabbed and hospitalised, I'm still getting over that. It's something that I will always have to deal with. Every time I look in the mirror I'm reminded of that awful night by the scar. This madness is tough for everyone and I'm staying as positive as possible.

Q: How have you been affected?

A: Well, I was meant to be fighting on April 17 but the coronavirus ended that. I had been on a good run and was progressing nicely as a professional. My training camp is in London but I had to come home to Belfast because of the virus. Financially it has hit me hard. I'm not fighting so I'm not getting paid and I've also lost a couple of sponsors because of the impact the virus has had on them. My girlfriend Caoife is working away, she works in community care so she is going in and out of homes, helping those who have issues with mobility. She obviously has to be very careful at this time - she's supplied with gloves and masks.

Q: How are you keeping fit?

A: It's obviously not easy to stay fit when you're not in the gym and it is hard to keep the weight off because you get bored and then it's just easy to go and eat. I'm doing my best to stay active even when it is hard to stay motivated when there are no fights lined up. I've set up a punching bag out the back and my brother has loaned me a bike so I go out for a ride and also do some runs.

Q: How are you maintaining morale?

A: It's hard to stay motivated and keep up morale but hopefully this will not go on much longer. All the boxers got a bit of a boost when the British Boxing Board of Control stated they were hopeful of some shows being staged in July. I want to stay in as good a shape as possible so when the call does come it won't take too much for me to be ready to fight.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from at this time?

A: Mentally, I'm a very strong guy so I'm usually positive and I keep telling myself that if I keep training then I can look forward to fighting again and my career moving forward. I also know that I've been in a far worse situation, when I got stabbed. I got through that and I know I will get through this. The mental strain of that time in my life is still there - I have good days and some bad days. I just take things day by day, I'm still recovering - it's not going to go away overnight.

Q: Sports fans are staying at home, too. Could you recommend a book, film or box set you think they might enjoy?

A: I'm not a big reader but I would recommend the book 'The Secret' or one I enjoyed recently was Malcolm X. For a box set I'd recommend Vampire Diaries and for a film I'd say Law Abiding Citizen.

Q: What life lessons are you learning from this?

A: I've been baking and cooking more since I've been home in Belfast. I made a cheesecake which was actually lovely... my coach wasn't too happy though when I sent him a photo of it! One thing I've learned is to appreciate more my friends and family, making time to see them. Often you think you're too busy but the value of seeing them means more to me than ever before.

Q: What is the first thing you will do when all this is over?

A: I'll hop on a plane and get back to my camp in London so I can lose some of this weight. I can't wait to go and spar and just be in the ring, to be punching. Nobody likes getting punched in the face but I feel at home in the ring.

Q: And your message to sports fans?

A: During this time off I've been watching boxing a lot more. If you're in the sport you can learn from some of the top guys and that's what I've been doing. I've been watching guys like Canelo Alvarez, Vasyl Lomachenko and Billy Joe Saunders who I got to spar one time which was an unbelievable experience. I would say to sports fans to stay motivated and train.

Belfast Telegraph