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.
"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.