A Brampton boxer has been selected to represent the Royal Navy in Australia.
Bradley Chapman, a 31-year-old light-welterweight, jets off tomnorrow (Monday) for an unforgettable fortnight Down Under.
He will be involved in training and bouts against an Australian regional squad while spending a week in Melbourne, before going on to Sydney to train with the national team.
It’s a major honour for a man who made a winning return to the ring last month after previously enjoying an extensive amateur career under the St Ives Boxing Academy banner.
In fact, Chapman came close to taking up the sport professionally, but opted instead to follow a career path that has seen him become a mine clearance diver, recently completing an eight-month tour of the Gulf.
Chapman said: “I didn’t get into boxing until quite late, but I had plenty of fights under Steve Whitwell at St Ives.
“I was thinking seriously about turning professional in my mid-20s, but I had already looked into the possibility of getting into the Navy and decided that was the route I wanted to go down.
“I was 26, had a daughter, partner and responsibilities so felt that boxing would have been too big a gamble to take.
“There’s always the question of ‘what if’, but I certainly don’t have any regrets as I now have an excellent career.
“I did have to give up boxing as my job took precedence, but I’m now able to do it again and being selected for the Navy team is a big honour.
“I had my first bout for more than 18 months the other week and won it well, forcing two standing counts in the final round.
“There are 35,000 people serving in the Royal Navy, so to be one of 14 boxers chosen for the trip to Australia is something I’m really proud about.”
Chapman, father to Mia (6) and Iyla (2), has a good record of 21 wins from his 30 fights to date.