As the next crop of highly-touted British amateurs begins to be snapped up by promoters ahead of their transition into the paid ranks, you would be forgiven for perhaps forgetting about the wave that came before them. Many of these prospects – though slightly under the radar – are still on track to reach the pinnacle of the pro game, and as they begin to challenge for domestic honours, more than a few slightly-faded names will undoubtedly begin to surface once again.
One particular name that may have escaped your attention in recent months is that of Isaac Chamberlain. The highly-rated Brixton Cruiserweight (6-0-0) has been out of the ring for just shy of half a year after dislocating his shoulder in the 3rd round of his Southern Area title fight against Wadi Camacho.
“I just want to help me, my family and a lot of people on their way in life. I want to support charities, and show people that you can come from nothing like me.
Chamberlain did (somehow) manage to box his way to victory for another seven rounds – displaying he has the heart to match the unquestionable boxing ability. The Matchroom prospect makes his ring return at York Hall next weekend against an unannounced opponent on a prospect-fueled bill fittingly labelled ‘NXT GEN,’ and though now fully fit, he admitted it took a while to feel at peace with his body following his injury.
“When the shoulder injury happened, I was thinking, ‘Why me? Why is this happening to me?’ Then, I remember thinking I could change things,” He said. “I was thinking, ‘This doesn’t have to be the end, I can really pull it out.’ I just kept telling myself to dig deep, because this is my life.
“When I got back into training, I was wary of the shoulder at first. It kept giving me flashbacks to that night, and I was kind of thinking, ‘S**t, is it going to happen again?’. I had to slowly gain confidence with it. I used it a lot on the bag, but when I was using it in sparring, it felt good, even if I didn’t trust it.
“I was worried, because in sparring you overstep or overreach sometimes. Now I’ve got the confidence back, though, I’m ready to go. I’m just excited to get back in there in front of the lights, and to show everyone that I’ve recovered.”
The Brixton prospect, even at this stage of his career, has quite the story to tell. Even fighting through a dislocated shoulder barely scrapes the surface when looking at the adversity Chamberlain has overcome to get himself into a position most young pros can only dream of. As the 23-year-old told BNTV, he turned to boxing in an attempt to avoid gang culture – something which fatefully cost him a family member as a child. He explained:
“I got in the gym around the age of 12. I went to the gym because my mum didn’t want me going down the route of gang violence and stuff like that. My cousin got killed just after passing his GCSEs because of that.
“It was a hard time, and they didn’t want me to go down the same route, because we grew up around gangs and drugs. That’s the reason why I started boxing, and I stayed because the coaches were always giving encouragement.
“Nobody ever told me I could be something in my life. Coaches though, they always say you can become a world champion, even if you’re s**t. That’s probably why I kept coming back when I was younger – so I could just hear those words of encouragement again.”
You can expect big things from the youngster who not only has fine boxing ability and heart in abundance, but a fine attitude to match. Chamberlain is targeting the British Cruiserweight title in 2017, and though he – like all up-and-comers – dreams of winning a world title, his primary goal for the future is something to be admired. He finished by telling us:
“I just want to help me, my family and a lot of people on their way in life. I want to support charities, and show people that you can come from nothing like me. I want to show everyone that it can happen. If you work extremely hard and dedicate yourself to something, you can achieve something amazing.”