October 3rd 2016
Name – Bryan Leaver
Weight – Welterweight
Record – 0 wins 0 losses 1 draw
Team – Reigate Martial Arts / Like2Box
Where are you from ?
I am from a village just outside Redhill in Surrey. Not too far from Gatwick Airport.
How long have you been training ?
In comparison to others in the league I am very new to this game. I have only been training for about a year.
How did you get in to boxing ?
I never had any intention of getting into boxing, I have always been a grappler and was content on sticking solely to that one sport. But after I had my amputation I would watch my wife train at the boxing gym. One night the owner said I needed to give it a go and didn’t stop nagging me until I did. So that night I found myself boxing without a prosthetic leg on (not fitted for one) and I have not looked back.
Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
I don’t have a Nickname that I’m aware of lol.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a boxer ?
I can’t recall any defining moments that have made me want to become a boxer. I think its safe to say I’m just going with it and seeing where I end up at the end of this journey.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of Boxing ?
I recon so. Nobody has said anything to me.
What is your current record ?
What is your favourite strike or submission ?
When it comes to my favourite submission I’m rather fond of the bow and arrow choke. With regards to my favourite strike I like any that make contact.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
I find Nick Jenman to be rather inspiring. He is the current Southern Area Title holder and on the road to becoming the English Title holder. I find his dedication to not only the sport but his work and family to be admired. He is one of these guys that is always busy training but can find five minutes to help anybody that needs it.
What team do you train with ?
I train out of Reigate Martial arts and Like2Box.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
Naturally I feel at home on the ground and would rather spend my time their but seen as how this is regarding boxing I will have to make the most of standing ☺
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
The term “fighter” means nothing to me. I am not a fighter and don’t want to be called one.
You are an adaptive athlete can you explain for those that do not know what that means ?
Being an adaptive athlete means the world to me. It has opened up sports that as an amputee I would otherwise see as inaccessible such as Boxing and BJJ.
What does being able to compete and live your dream mean to you ?
Being able to compete in boxing gives it all a purpose. It means all those hours training and all the dedication wasn’t for nothing. Too many times I’ve put in the time and effort for no reason and now with the forming of the new league that won’t happen again.
What are your thoughts on the Adaptive boxing Organization and the work they are doing for adaptive athletes ?
I think what Colin has created with the ABO is amazing. He’s managed to turn a dream into a recognised international league. He’s opened the sport up to thousands of new athletes.
What weight do you fight at ?
I normally compete at welterweight.
What do you think separates you from other fighters in your division ?
My division has some real talent in it at the moment. But they all seem to like standing and brawling, I have never stood and traded punches and that’s not how I box.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
The NABA has a rather outspoken welterweight title holder at the moment. I like to make that fight happen in the states. Attach it to a card in Vegas and make it one to remember.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Seen as how this is my first match for the ABO im going to say this one.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
I enter these situations with a very fluid mind-set. I just roll with the punches and adapt to the situation.
Who are you fighting next ?
Lukey “boy” Milligan.
What holes or weaknesses do you see in their game that you can exploit ?
If you compare him to a conventional boxer you can pick his game apart and people who have watched his videos say it would be easy to exploit his style. But he’s not a conventional boxer, he’s an adaptive boxer and his adaptations in style shouldn’t be mistaken for weakness. I know what im doing and have trained to be ready for him and his style so it’s now time to see how it unfolds.
What promotion are you fighting for Date and time of your next fight?
Fighting on the undercard of the Guvnors Belt on the 16th of October.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
If I can be remembered as part of the team that made it happen and give others the ability to train and compete ill be happy.
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
I’m fond of “unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going”
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Can’t say I’ve accomplished anything yet.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
I would have to say my BJJ coach Martin Hollis. He wasn’t the one who got me into striking but he was the person who got me back into sport post op. He takes no crap and if I ever try to use the amputation as a reason why something can’t work he finds an adaptation and makes me drill that.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why?
I’m sorry to say I don’t watch much high level boxing so I’m not 100% sure how to answer this question.
How would you describe your fighting style?
My style has been described as a distance fighter in the past by a sparring partner but I wouldn’t say I have a style.
What drives or motivates you?
The fact I enjoy the sport drives me forwards and motivates me to win. I love the training process and the build up to each match. So with every match I win the standard of my next opponent improves so the standard of my training has to improve. This motivates me and keeps me going.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I happen to be a fully trained Butler.
When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time ?
I like to spend as much time with my wife as possible. We have an amazing local farm shop just outside our village and we like to take a stroll up for afternoon tea and just relax.
What advice can you give to young fighters and those who want to become adaptive boxers?
The only advice I can give to any youngster who wants to become an adaptive boxer is to just do it. Find a gym and a coach and just knuckle down. Shut off to the nay Sayers and just focus on your training.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t got involved with combat sports ?
I don’t know what I would be doing. Id more than likely be much better at call of duty and 10kg heavier ☺
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle?
I wouldn’t say I get hyped up. I’m normal a nerves wreck going into an event, I only ever get hyped after its started.
Where do you see the sport of adaptive boxing in 5 years ?
If the ABO keeps growing like it is at the moment and the people who are currently in the wings watching step out and to the promises they have made I see a great future for the league. Within five years I honestly see world championship bouts and a truly international pool of athletes fighting on cards across the globe.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years’ time.
What do you think can change moving forward to make Adaptive Boxing better as a sport ?
My personal opinion is that the league needs to open up to more weight classes. I know a lot of guys that want to compete but are not interested in competing at welterweight. I call it welterweight but it’s a restricted weight class that seems to be designed to suit a single athlete. Also, as soon as other leagues start to recognise the sport and allow Colin to put fights on undercard slots the better. ABO needs as much time in front of the public as possible.
Who is your favourite fighter ?
michael venom page
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
The biggest shout out has to go to my wife. She has to put up with a lot when I’m training and I know it’s not easy putting up with me at the best of times let alone when I am training. But, she never stops pushing me forward and supporting me all the way. I would also like to thank Karen, Jumbo and all of the team at Like2Box in Redhill. If it wasn’t for their support and coaching I would have never got into boxing. The final thank you goes to Martin and Wez. I know I’ve mentioned Martin before in this interview but if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have returned to this sort of thing after the amputation and Wez for investing the time in me to make these fights happen.