It seems like only five minutes ago that Brandon brought his team of warriors over to the famous York Hall, the home of boxing in the east end of London. I can still hear the cheers that rang out there as the veteran operators from both sides of the pond battled it out. The event—the Remembrance Rumble—hailed as a success by the U.K. national papers, is now set to happen again. Only this time, I’m taking my warriors into the heart of Brandon’s backyard. We will do battle in New York City.
Planning is still in the early stages, but the venue is booked and fighters are being recruited. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger than last year’s, which sold out with a good few months to go. Again, the ex-special operations soldiers will be fighting for charity and raising both money and awareness for the charities—to be announced at a later date. There is already a healthy online following for the event, and as before, you will be able to follow all the preparations and track the fighters’ training from start to finish. All links will be shared by SOFREP so nobody misses any of the action.
I can speak on behalf of the British team, and I want to tell you I have quite a lineup again this year. We have retained most of last year’s fighters and picked up a couple from the SBS, too. I will be officially announcing my ex-tier one UKSF-only squad very soon, and training proper will start immediately after. We have little over six months to get into the best shape of our lives again before coming and having a tear-up. I personally can’t wait. I love a good fight and I lead by example, so I’ll definitely be going through the ropes and putting my money where my mouth is again.
I have already started preparing after having put a bit of weight on over Christmas and while working nonstop in the early part of this year. I weighed in this week at 137 kilos—302 pounds. I aim to drop down to around 120 kilos or 264.5 pounds. That’s gonna be a few hours of pain in the gym, I can tell you. I’ll be posting all my training practices, complemented by my diet. I can honestly say I love the training, but the diet is abso-fucking-lutely horrendous. I love my food. I will be giving up alcohol for the duration, and I don’t smoke (I haven’t for at least 10 years), but food is my last stand, and it has to go. So Wendy has been briefed, a blender has been bought, and I’ll be hitting the smoothies and the rabbit food. I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of ultimate ring fitness.
I will be training in the Peacock Gym in Canning Town, London. This boxing gym in the U.K. is second to none and has seen many famous fighters come through its doors. When Floyd Mayweather came to town, it was his gym of choice, and now the ex-SAS boxing team will also call it home. The family-owned gym is old school and is just the right atmosphere to house my team, which is made up of men all serious about their fighting. I will, over the next few months, be mentioning The Peacock a lot as it becomes my second home.
My principle trainer is Andre Ollie, who has been around boxing for over 30 years. He will advise my squad and I, giving us the best chance possible to be ready for the rumble. We have also had the likes of Ricky Hatton and Nigel Benn show an interest in advising and helping out. I will, for the duration of my preparation, immerse myself in all things boxing—not only training, but going to watch fights, analysing videos, and trawling the internet for all things boxing. I will travel the U.K., sparring at different clubs to gain fight experience. I will also visit our services’ boxing teams, seeking their knowledge and know-how. I have already trained with the parachute regiment’s 2nd and 3rd battalions at their base in Colchester the last time I was getting ready. There is no better place to try one’s skills out and pick up invaluable tips than with some of the hardest troops in the world.
November sounds ages away, but in terms of fighting prep times, it’s nothing. It will be on us in no time at all. There is a lot to be done—not only for the fighters, but for the administrative personnel coordinating this event, too. Their role in an event like this is colossal. It will be a hard year again, but nothing worth doing is ever easy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So here goes: eyes down, look in, and let the fun begin. It’s gonna be a good’n, and we hope to raise some serious money and awareness for those who are not faring so well after their spell in combat. The brotherhood of the armed forces stretches beyond our own boundaries again as we embrace our brothers-in-arms from both sides of the Atlantic—doing combat for the care of others. I hope the word will spread and people will get behind this event to make it a resounding success again. I’m sure you all will.