Thaxton motivated for online future
CHRIS LAKEY Jon Thaxton is taking to the electronic highway as he prepares for life outside the boxing ring.The Norwich fighter already has a website dedicated to his boxing - now there's one which shows his strengths as a motivational speaker.
Jon Thaxton is taking to the electronic highway as he prepares for life outside the boxing ring.
The Norwich fighter already has a web site dedicated to his boxing - now there's one which shows his strengths as a motivational speaker.
It's been part of his life for a couple of years now, but Thaxton is stepping up the pace as he prepares for the day when the gloves are finally hung up for good.
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"I still have two or three years of boxing left in me," said the 31-year-old. "But you're a long time retired, and I need to be doing something."
Thaxton has retired once - back in April, 2004 because of a shoulder injury - but admits he was hasty. The next time will be because his career has come to its natural conclusion.
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"I've always said I will retire flat on my back," he laughed. "Hopefully it will never come to that and I will see sense so that I can retire at the top.
"One punch can make you and one punch can break you. I would love to have an Indian summer, but in the meantime I am building up this business, starting with the web site. I want to capitalise on everything I have done and everything I have learned when boxing finally comes to an end.
"I want to move into a new office - one without ropes and blood."
Thaxton has built up his motivational speaking in the last couple of years.
"I started with schools, chatting to all sort of children. I talk to them about bullying and how they should be channelling their energy," he said. "Then I extended it to businesses.
"When I'm in the schools I start off by inviting children up to try and hit me - without me hitting them of course - and it breaks the ice. We have some fun. It's not like I'm one of their teachers telling them something; I'm a bit different and they can look at it in a different way.
"I have worked with unruly kids and kids with problems of other sorts and I can channel their energies into something positive. When I work with them we do team development and it is amazing how well they take to it, working together."
There's a huge difference between facing a group of school children and then standing up and talking to a room full of businessmen and women.
It's a challenge that Thaxton has found intimidating and rewarding.
"Don't forget, I have been overcoming obstacles all my life," he said. "When I was eight years old I started kick boxing and I was soon fighting lads two or three years older than me. Everyone said I was mad, but I kept doing it.
"I'm not the greatest boxer who stepped into a ring, but I have always had the desire and I have never been scared to take on a challenge.
"When I speak to business people all I do is ensure that I do my research so I know exactly who I am talking to and what they do. The rest is unscripted. It's from the heart. I usually start by telling them I'm a boxer, which often surprises a few of them. The funny thing is that some people think, 'boxer, dumb', but I have to say I've had great feedback."
Thaxton is clearly not scared of taking a risk: when he decided to come out of retirement after a two-year spell out of the ring, it was a case of keeping his job at the time or resuming his career.
"I was told it was one or the other - and I chose to box," he recalls. "I took the risk and it worked out.
"Look at my last fight - I faced an Argentinian who had not been beaten in 19 fights. It was a tough fight, he was a difficult fighter, but I boxed well and I beat him.
"I see it as opportunity, risk and reward - much as in business."
The website features Thaxton's expertise in the business world, in education and fitness - and can be viewed at www.jontalks.co.uk.