WE’RE told that it takes a unique type to become a professional boxer. Surely you would be an even rarer breed if you didn’t need to fight and could instead carve out a highly respectable career as a qualified solicitor.

Meet Oscar McCracken, the newest addition to the super-welterweight division.

Saturday night (May 24) will mark McCracken’s maiden voyage on his professional journey, which begins at the Holiday Road Inn at Birmingham Airport on a Tommy Owens card featuring five fights.

The 24-year-old’s surname will catch the attention of many boxing enthusiasts. His father and trainer Spencer fought for IBO and British welterweight honours in 1999 and 2000, while Oscar’s Uncle “Robbie” (Robert) McCracken reached world middleweight title challenger status also in 2000, losing to WBC champion Keith Holmes. Nowadays, he is best known for his work training world champions and guiding Team GB to glory at the Olympic Games.

“I’ve been around the game as long as I can remember. It’s always been boxing, boxing, boxing,” Oscar tells Boxing News.

“My dad’s trained pros for 20-plus years, and obviously my uncle as well. I’ve always been around pro fighters, sparred pro fighters since I was a teenager, so I’ve always had a pro style.

“[I] hated the amateurs [and] didn’t ever really want to go into it,” he continues. “I know it sounds mad with Robbie being top of [Team] GB, but I just never liked it. Didn’t like the style it gave you. I’m a bit more of a fighter and I’ve always had the pro-style. So, I’ve always focused on sparring pros and learning that way.

“The reason why I probably didn’t go into the amateurs is because it’s a brutal sport. You gotta have a bit of of a backup. I was 18 and doing really well in the gym sparring pros and amateurs. I said to my old man, ‘I want to turn pro’ and he said, ‘That’s alright but make sure you’ve something behind you.’ I ended up applying to university at the time to study law. So that took me on a crazy course.”

One click on his LinkedIn bio reveals how far it has taken him.

In 2020, I obtained a First Class LLB Law with Honours degree from the University of Worcester.

In 2022, I completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and also obtained an LLM in Law and Business from the University of Law in Birmingham.

I have vast experience in Dispute Resolution, Real Estate and construction law having also gained experience in the Middle East.

I am fluent in Spanish and I have a passion for boxing as my family run a professional boxing gym.

That’s a few strings to an impressive bow. And one day McCracken plans to put his years of studying to good use which may keep him involved in boxing after his career is over. The obvious question, however, is why choose to be a fighter? The legal world isn’t without its challenges, controversies or characters you’d rather avoid, but getting punched in the face isn’t part of the job description.

That being said, life has been different for McCracken. The backup plan came long after his love affair with boxing began. It’s in his blood, but there is more to it than just DNA. Somewhere along the line, you need to be captivated or drawn in by something you see. It wasn’t too long before the thirst to fight was born.

“People around me are old school, really old school and you gotta earn everything that you earn. I’ve got that in me,” McCracken says.

“So when I was younger and going to the gyms seeing someone spar, I’d be 12-13 years old and I’d be like ‘Put me in there. I wanna do it and I can do it.’ I can’t describe it. I always wanted to do it. It was never a case of not doing it. The law stuff has just delayed it, but then it hasn’t, it’s made it perfect.

McCracken’s father and uncle both made a name for themselves in the pro ranks

“You wouldn’t believe [me] but it’s put everything [as] perfect timing right now for me to do it. I always wanted to do it. I’ve always just loved training and going down the gym and getting involved with the lads and watching. I’ve seen so many of their journeys. I’ve seen some turn over with nothing and achieve something or vice versa. I’ve seen people turn over, become a world champion and then get beat by a 50-50 kid and you think how has that happened. A crazy sport, but it was always something I was gonna do 100 per cent.”

Education has been a big part of Oscar’s life, but he isn’t going into the pro ranks blind, and there is a degree of unique experiences behind him. Sparring from his early teens and beyond has put him against journeymen, top amateurs, and champions and exposed him to as many styles as you can write down. And in the embryonic stages of his own career, he should rack up the wins.

Despite interest from promoters, McCracken told BN he isn’t interested in signing with anyone just yet. He’s happy to ply his trade wherever and whenever as long as he is kept busy. And with an A-Z of contacts and connections the McCrackens have, he looks likely to have a busy second half of 2024.

McCracken admits, though, he doesn’t need boxing.

“That is the truth. I’m putting myself in this position because I really want to and I love it. I love fighting. I don’t need this game at all. I want to go and get it and that’s what separates me from pretty much every other boxer.

“I just love fighting, love the training. My dad lives next door to me, so I’ve got him coaching me 24/7, so there’s no break for me. If he’s not on the runs with me at half six, half seven in the morning he’s on the bike leading the runs. He makes sure he hears my front door open and close.”

In this day and age, social media is a necessity for anyone connected to boxing, particularly a fighter. The words “profile” and “content” may make some shudder, but more and more boxers need those followers, likes, retweets, and so on to boost their name, which sells tickets and could eventually land them a big fight.

McCracken is new to the social media element of the sport, but if you visit his Instagram profile and follow him at Oscar.mccracken1, you will notice underneath his own name arguably the best boxing moniker to have been created in years.

Oscar “De La Lawyer” McCracken.

“I was in the Cayman Islands,” McCracken’s story begins.

“Matt Windle was defending his Commonwealth [light-flyweight title]. Without going into too many details, there was a few legal eruptions while I was over there, that I was looking into, which was all fun and games.

“Something come up and afterwards I was having a bit of a discussion with the promoters. And my dad, off the top of his head, said the nickname and the whole room was laughing and everybody’s like ‘That’s it, that’s the one.’ So, that’s what I’m going with.”

And, yes, Oscar was named after boxing’s most famous Oscar to date – De La Hoya.