I stood behind the curtain, I could see the camera outside waiting for me to walk through and make my entrance, my first entrance ever to the ring of my professional debut. The music started to build, The Prodigy’s Stand Up. “Sam, wait until it builds before we walk out,” I said. I wanted everything to be perfect, I wanted to soak in this moment just as I’d planned it.
“Are you nervous?” The security at the curtain asked me.
“No! I’m just excited! This is so much fun!” I then turned to Sam and said, “I’m going to win this, Sam!” And with that, Sam Sheppard, Tom Taylor and Kastro Vafa led me through the curtains as I pumped my fists together to the music and took in the sold out crowd and the cameras in my face.
When Brandy Badry entered the ring it was an instant stair down, both of us trying to break the other down just using our icy stair. There was no love in that ring what so ever. Brandy smirked and flicked her tongue at me. I suppressed a laugh as I let the gesture further feed my desire to win. I have never wanted something so bad.
As soon as the bell rang I came out big. I fake my jab and threw a big right hand to the body and a hook upstairs, and completely missed her by a good foot! Regrouping, I came at her again, behind the jab this time which allowed me to get in on her and successfully land some good combinations. Mid round I hit her with a big overhand right hand and saw her knees buckle. I was sure she was done and was on her as fast as I could be, throwing fast short combinations. Badry turtled up, and I heard Sam call me off, so I backed off and went back to my game plan, but something had changed. The look in Brandy’s eye’s were no longer that of determination. Instead, all I could see was fear. Once I saw this I knew I’d won the fight. I had her in retreat mode for the rest of the fight, and successfully won every round.
The final scores were 40 – 36, 40 -36, 39 – 37. I’d won 11 of 12 of the cards and a unanimous decisions!
So how do I feel? Well happy as hell! This has been a huge achievement for me. But, like I told Tom and Sam, I think I could have done better. Once I realized I was going to win the fight I became lazy and a bit arrogant. I dropped my hands, and tried to bait my opponent. I’m not particularity happy that I did this, as my plan was to leave 110% in the ring, and I probably only left 80% in the ring. However, I did execute a lot of what Sam and I had been working on, and I did some things that I was very happy with. Brandy is a tough girl, and has a lot of heart. I would never consider her an easy opponent. I knew from the moment I accepted this fight that it was going to be an excellent and challenging fight, so it is an amazing accomplishment that I beat her.
This was one of the best experience of my life. Not only the fight, but everything building up to the fight. Not many people knew about the obstacles I was face with in both my personal and boxing life, but they were quite severe, and to overcome those obstacles and pull out a successful win on my very first pro fight was a huge success and accomplishment for me. I’d fought Brandy twice in amateur, and she’d beat me both times. It was very important to me that I win this fight against her, and became even more so the more she egged me on in articles and interviews and on Facebook. I was also faced with issues at work and my personal life that I was dealing with right up to the week before my fight. The fact that I was able to put all of this aside and not let it get to me was unreal. The fact that I was able to remain calm during all the hoopla, the media and the pressure of fighting in front of a huge crowd was a feat I take great pride in.
I am very lucky to have been prepared by the best team out there. Professional Canadian Champion, Junior Moar spent hours discussing what the experience would be like for me, how I should behave and what I should expect. Sam Sheppard and Richard Alm were instrumental in keeping me focused, sharp and calm. And of course Sam and Tom Taylor were the source of my strength, my conditioning and my skill. I could not have tackled these obstacles and pulled off such a successful win without this amazing team, and I am so grateful!
Next up? I’m hoping for a spot on the upcoming Oct. 27th card in Vancouver, and will also hopefully do a rematch with Badry on our Dec. 1st card.