Video: Norfolk boxer making a good fist of bouts in Mexico
- Credit: Submitted - November 2013
Boxing can be an intimidating sport to get involved in at the best of times, let alone in a foreign country, as Thetford boxer Stephen Mallett has discovered.
The 35-year-old moved away from Thetford almost six years ago to live in Mexico with his girlfriend, Karla Sanchez, who he met while she was on holiday in England.
Mallett first started boxing at just eight years old and now, living in Cancun, he is testing his skills against fast-punching Mexican fighters.
He says he recently had his 10th fight, claiming his 10th win and sixth knockout victory, and is really enjoying the challenge.
'Boxing in Mexico is different as in England we hit and make the shots count by hitting hard with every punch and applying pressure,' Mallett said.
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'Here in Mexico they are very quick, throw lots of punches at a time, not at all as hard as the English, so I need to work hard on my conditioning.
'Boxing is the national sport here in Mexico so it wasn't too hard to find a gym but what was quite difficult was to find the correct trainer I was happy with, who knew what to work on with me, also being in a gym that I felt comfortable in.
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'Being that I am not Mexican this could make some people feel uncomfortable but I have adapted well and I do have a good team here.'
Initially Mallett says he struggled to communicate at fights but now speaks almost fluent Spanish and will consider whether to push for a middleweight state title fight in the new year.
He still returns home to Thetford for occasional visits, where he first learned to box under the watch of Barry Trainer at the Silver Ring Boxing Club.
'My love of the sport is great because of my involvement from a young age,' Mallett added.
'It did keep me off the streets while I was young, meaning the sport kept me out of trouble and I feel I owe the sport which has built me as a person and also made me many friends from around.
'I would love to pass this onto others and help train people who would like to try the sport.'
- You can view video highlights of Mallett's latest fight, which he won with a second-round knockout having already knocked his opponent to the canvas twice, by pressing play on the video above.