Latest March Boxing Club star Bernardo Marime out to shine after nailing professional deal
PUBLISHED: 14:50 23 July 2019
It certainly hasn't been a usual rise to the professional ranks for one of March Boxing Club's stars.
Originally from Mozambique having moved to Northern Ireland aged 11, Bernardo Marime is not one for giving up despite facing both personal and social challenges.
Nevertheless, he has still managed to pursue a childhood ambition many may have doubted him to do, having signed a professional deal on Sunday.
"I used to play football, but I was really good at rugby," Bernardo said.
"I used to get into fights at school and people tried to pick on me; I didn't like that.
"I didn't know how to box, so I was just swinging."
Having met his late coach Frank Gervin at Clonoe ABC in Dungannon, it was the projection Bernardo needed to release his aggression gained from school.
Since that moment twelve years ago, monumental progress has been achieved on both a sporting and personal front, despite undergoing a difficult upbringing.
"My friend said 'would you like to do boxing?', and I didn't like the cold," he said.
"At the time, I didn't speak English; I had to have a translator from secondary school.
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"I look up to Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson - they didn't have what they wanted as a kid.
"I grew up with my nan and I didn't go to school as I had to get money.
"I had to do my own thing to get what I needed.
"If it wasn't for boxing, I'd be in crime.
"Boxing has kept me inside and has kept me busy."
Bernardo, a father of two who now trains in Norwich, has been an Irish champion and narrowly missed out on an English title last year.
And after moving to the Fens in 2017, he has made his intentions clear with the guidance of coaches including Joe Steed's right-hand man, Graham Everett, and former European lightweight champion Jon Thaxton.
"I want to make my kids and everybody proud and everyone that has supported me," Bernardo added.
"I want to fight in the US and be on Sky TV.
"I want to show people what I'm all about."