OSIL Project Engineer Matt Wilkes spends most of time during the week helping clients to combat odour and air pollution. But, on Saturday, he will be hoping to benefit from a few fresh air shots himself when he takes to the boxing ring for the first time.
After three months of rigorous training Wilkes, 27, is set to slug it out over three two-minute rounds with fellow engineer Richard ‘Minky’ Heath in the Staffordshire leg of the Zero to Hero white collar boxing event.
‘Will-KO’, as he likes to be called, took up boxing to get fit and overcome the anxiety issues that dogged him in his early 20s and he hopes to take inspiration from the Froch v Groves fight he attended at Wembley earlier this year.
Given the fact he is about to put his reputation on the line in front of 2,500 spectators at Aldersley Leisure Centre in Wolverhampton, Wilkes is remarkably laidback about what lays in store.
“We’ll have the Olympic head guard on so you can still get smacked in the face but you’ve still got some protection,” said the fearless OSIL fighter.
“I’ve never been in any kind of fight before so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on in a controlled and safe environment.
“As to boxing in front of huge crowd I feel pure excitement, the adrenalin on the night I’m sure is something I will never forget and to box in front of my family and friends is going to be quite the achievement, I just hope to do them proud.”