An emergency service worker who jumped into the ring for the first time in his life for a charity boxing match lost six stones thanks to the training.
Jake Lee revealed he “loved” the experience, even though he found it more nerve-wracking than resuscitating a baby, or running into a burning building.
The 27-year-old admitted that before he signed up for the Ultra White Collar Boxing event to raise money for Cancer Research UK he wasn’t even able to run.
But his waist has now shrunk 10 inches and he joked he can now do sit ups “all day long”.
Jake, of Carrion View, Worksop, undertook the challenge for his half sister, Zoe, aged 23, who lost her grandmother June to cancer.
The worker for East Midlands Ambulance Service dropped from 26st to 22st as he trained for his bout.
And he enjoyed the training at Fifty3Degrees Martial Arts and Fitness Centre, in nearby Chesterfield, so much he decided to keep going afterwards and lost another 2st.
He said: “I was training about three or four days a week, it was really intense and the trainers really pushed you, but that was really good.
“They took me from someone who has never stepped into a ring before and trained me how to be a boxer. I love it now.
“I wanted to get myself sorted mentally and physically, and thought Ultra White Collar Boxing was the perfect way to do that.
“I also wanted to do it for my sister’s nan who sadly passed away a few years ago and it really hit her hard, so it was for her as well.
“The whole thing was absolutely brilliant, but one of the best things was I lost a load of weight - about 6st.
“I would recommend anyone who is thinking of giving it a go to step up – it really is a life-changing experience.”
Ultra White Collar Boxing offers participants eight weeks of free training before they take part in a showcase event in front of friends and family.
In return they have to sell tickets for the event and agree to raise sponsorship cash for Cancer Research UK.
Jake said: “I’ve gone from a 52-inch waist to a 42 – it’s brilliant.
“Now I can run when I couldn’t before and I could do sit ups all day if I wanted to, when I would have struggled to do just one.
“I’ve even carried on with training because it’s great and it just makes me feel amazing.
“It’s had a really good impact on me mentally as well.
“I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since I started training and have cut out all bad foods. I only eat clean now.
“I was on another diet before the training, but it had literally no effect at all. It’s all about the training.”
Almost 50 friends and family bought tickets to support Jake for his bout at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Sheffield on March 23 and he raised more than £500 for the charity.
On the night, Jake walked out to Dropkick Murphy’s I’m Shipping Off to Boston, after a friend told him it was a great tune .
Jake said: “The fight night was brilliant, the whole night was run so smoothly and professionally.
“I’ve never been so nervous before in my life though.
“I’ve run into a burning building and resuscitated a baby, but nothing was more nerve-wracking than the 30 seconds before the fight.
“It was brilliant after that.
“We got into the ring and the second the bell went, we both just went for it for three rounds.
“We were evenly matched so it was a draw.
“I fought a guy called Matthew Robinson who is an absolutely brilliant lad.
“We still keep in touch and have become friends since the event.”
Jake also explained that the entire experience had improved his mental health after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, having been stabbed in a case of mistaken identity a couple of years ago.
He said: “I was stabbed back in 2016 on a night out.
“A group of lads attacked me in the street – I think it might have been a case of mistaken identity.
“While I was on the floor, one of them stabbed me in the kidney.
“Afterwards, I was diagnosed with PTSD and it really affected me mentally.
Jon Leonard, who runs Ultra Events, said: “We are full of admiration for Jake.
“He raised a huge sum of money for a great charity and it is fantastic see the impact the training has had on his life.”
The next Ultra White Collar Boxing event takes place in Sheffield on July 6 and training starts on the week commencing May 13.
Anyone thinking of signing up can visit ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/locations/sheffield.
Ultra Events, the company behind the event, gives people the chance to take centre stage and raise money for Cancer Research UK in various ways, offering boxing, ballroom dancing, mixed martial arts, darts and comedy. So far the organisation has raised more than £17m for the national charity.