Wes Leavy repeatedly asked himself the questions – “Am I good enough? Can I do it?” At the time Wes, of Burslem weighed around 20 stone and did little exercise. But after himself, family and friends decided to raise money for Wes’s younger brother, a charity boxing match was the target to help with the good cause. But little did Wes know then, that in under two years, he would be fighting as a pro boxer in front of hundreds at the Kings Hall, in Stoke-on-Trent.
“Me and some friends decided to do White Collar boxing to raise money for my younger brother,” said Wes. “He had meningitis – Meningococcal septicaemia – and osteomyelitis when he was 12 months old and had a deformity in his leg. He had always wanted a motor bike and we decided to raise money for the bike, which had to be specially modified. I had boxed as an amateur before and thought the white collar boxing would be a good way of raising the money.”
Wes continued to take part in white collar events and he was soon approached by coach Dave Morgan, of T6 Gym, in Burslem. After training at T6 he then went on to win several titles under the unlicensed banner as a heavyweight before being encouraged to turn professional.
“Dave said I’d got the talent to turn pro and I was also introduced to Scott Lawton, of Impact Boxing who is my manager now, and I started going to Scott’s gym for sparring once a week.”
Wes received masses of support from Dave, Scott and also coaches Craig Jones and Shane Porter and a decision was made for him to deter from the heavyweight ranks.
“Dave said I’d got the talent but I needed to lose the weight and the best thing to do was to get to 14 stone 4 and go for the cruiserweight division,” says Wes.
“I thought – I’ve got to lose the weight and I’ve got to lose it fast so I worked every day.”
Wes fought to reach his target weight, trained hard, changed his diet and in June 2018 impressed on his pro debut when beating Darren Snow at the Kings Hall, Stoke. He admits it was hard to lose the weight but faced a tougher battle in defining his mindset in the run up to his first pro fight.
“I always used to doubt myself,” says the father of one. “I was always asking if I was good enough. Other people would doubt you too and it has been more of a mental battle than a physical one, it took a long time for me to gain confidence. When other people doubt me that just gives me the incentive to do more and carry on. People judge you without knowing the truth.”
Wes continues: “I recently looked at an old photo of me when I was 20 stone and I couldn’t believe it. I feel so much better, not just physically but mentally too. All the blood, sweat and tears as helped me be a better me.”
Wes has received valuable support from his family including his father who has encouraged him every step of the way. But there is one other person – and friend – he is particularly thankful to and that is fellow boxer Rhasian Earlington, of Madeley who also trains at T6, in Burslem.
“Me and Rhasian met at the white collar boxing and we formed like a brotherly bond,” adds Wes. “He has helped me a lot and as well as my coaches and manager he helped get me through my first training camp ready for my pro debut. We bounce off each other and spar together. We learn a lot from each other and he’s helped me a lot.”
Wes also admits his inspiration and motivation springs from his two-year-old son; “My number one inspiration is my son. When he goes to school and his teachers and friends ask what daddy does – he can say – ‘He’s a pro boxer.’ It’s something he can look upon and know that I’ve tried to do something with myself for his benefit.”
The 22-year-old is in training for his second pro fight which will take place on September 29, at Kings Hall Stoke.
Wes said: “I was full of excitement and nervousness on my debut but once I got in the ring I relaxed and I knew what I had to do. I learned a lot and one thing for sure is don’t underestimate your opponent.”
He adds: “A lot of people came to support me last time and I want to thank them all, it means a lot. People pay a lot of money and they want to see good professional boxing – hopefully I can keep them entertained and so can Rhasian.”
Wes not only answered his doubters but his own questions with conviction and determination and he is well on the way of an exciting new journey!
For more information follow Wes on Facebook here.