Adam Cooper, 26, from Farnham, will step foot in the boxing ring just days before Christmas to raise money for Cancer Research UK after losing both his grandad and nan to cancer.
The sales operations manager spends most of his weekdays in an office – and his evenings attending the twice-weekly Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) training sessions and the gym.
And on December 17, Adam will become ‘The Canon’ as he takes part in the UWCB’s next event at Hart Leisure Centre in Fleet – with the drive to raise as much money as possible for a cause very close to his heart.
“I started this event with the intention and interest to learn more about boxing,” he said.
“But around ten years ago I lost my granddad to cancer and earlier this year I lost my nan to it, so it’s become something I’m going to do in their names because it’s such a big thing to happen to my family.”
Adam is currently topping the leaderboard of UWCB fundraisers for the event, having raised almost £900 so far for Cancer Research UK. He can be sponsored online at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adam-cooper36
Adam is also undergoing an intense training to prepare for the event, including extra sessions provided by the UWCB, a strict diet and multiple gym sessions to get to his peak fitness level.
“The training is an eight-week boxing camp which includes sessions that focus on fitness, technique and sparring,” Adam said.
“I go to the gym a lot, so I changed what I was doing to be more boxer specific. Instead of body-building focused work I’m doing a lot of circuits, as opposed to heavy weights. Gym to me is a mental release and I encourage others to do it too. With the end goal, I can put my energy into something big.
“I haven’t drunk alcohol for a month and neither do I plan to. My diet has been extremely clean – working in an office that usually brings in cake and sausage rolls has been difficult. However, if I skip it, it could be what lets me down on the night.”
He has, though, received great support from his employer, Guildford-based firm Don’t Just Sit There, Sell Something (DJST), and the whole team will be there to cheer him on on December 17 as well as sponsoring his event.
DJST associate director, Nick Reigate, said: “We’re all really proud of Adam for what he’s doing as it’s for such a great cause that means a lot to us as a company.
“One of Adam’s roles in the business is to support and motivate the team and therefore we want to do the same thing for him at his event.”
Adam also expressed his appreciation for all the support he has been given by those closest to him and by the UWCB organization.
He continued: “The amount of support has been amazing. I’m someone who usually keeps myself to myself, so this has been really different for me. My family, my friends, my work, and my girlfriend have all been so supportive of me and I really appreciate it.
“The organisation (UWCB) make you all feel very welcome. It’s an incredibly scary thing to sign up for and they make you feel comfortable. There’s been support from the beginning and it looks like they’re going to make you feel very special and make it a big event to acknowledge everything that you’re doing.
“Everyone’s got different things that they go through, but to put everything I feel into a big event like this will be very rewarding for me.”
White collar boxing – the ’white collar’ referring to ‘white collar workers’ – originated in New York in 1988 after a doctor and an attorney trained for the first black tie event.
In 2009, UWCB formatted and reignited white collar boxing after its first UK event in Derby.
In 2013, UWCB became a corporate partner of Cancer Research UK, making them one of the charity’s biggest fundraisers to date – raising more than £20 million for the charity through its events to-date.
Hundreds of UWCB events have taken place across the UK and have since expanded to Australia and Poland, with plans to reach the USA.