CHRISTMAS, New Year’s Eve, birthdays and anniversaries; to a fighter, these are just like any other day – especially if you’re in a fight camp.

When I was 16, I missed my school prom because I was boxing in the European Championships for England. I was in Manchester on a training camp for my 18th and on my 21st birthday, I was training with the England boxing team in London the day before we flew to Australia for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

I used to love this. It was a surprise to everyone else who would say things like ‘oh I feel sorry for you’, and ‘you can’t celebrate your birthday’, but I didn’t want to.

I remember every Christmas day, I would make sure I went out and completed a hard run even if I didn’t have a fight coming up because in the back of my mind I would think that my next opponent won’t be doing this.

Fighters sacrifice so much to fight. You always hear boxers say ‘fighting is the easy part’, meaning the hard work was the sacrifice they had put in in the previous 10 weeks.

Tony Jeffries on Christmas

There will be thousands of fighters around the world this Christmas out on the road, eating just the veg on the Christmas dinner, washed down with water and thinking about what their opponent is doing on this day. There is definitely more to boxing than just boxing – it’s a 24-hours/365 days a year job.

Merry Christmas everyone!  Thanks for all your great feedback on my 2017 blogs. I’m hoping to bring you more great content in 2018 and in the meantime, please get in touch and let me know what you would like me to write about: @Tony_Jeffries on Twitter, or on Facebook  or tony_jeffries Instagram.