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Posted on 23rd May 2018
A national boxing champion is preparing to take on his next big opponent – his GCSE exams.
John-James Hedges, 16, is the national junior Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) champion, having started the sport at the age of seven.
His position in Team England means he is committed to a daily cardio workout, plus four visits to the gym each week with his focus being on reaching the 2019 Youth Olympics and 2024 Paris Olympics.
Having won all four fights at the ABA championships, the teenager is now ranked number one in England. His next goal is to become number one in Great Britain when he competes at the GB Tri-nations Championships in Scotland. If he achieves that, he will be picked for the European Championships in Russia in October.
But, despite his huge sporting success, the Year 11 student at Forest Hall School is still finding the fight to take on his GCSE exams this summer.
He said: “I have been a part of Team England since 2016. Back then, I was not expected to win championships and so everything I achieved was a bonus. Now, the pressure is on a bit more as I am ranked number one and I am expected to win.
“As part of Team England, I am getting to work and train with the best, such as Anthony Joshua. There’s nothing better than that.
“It can be hard to balance my boxing with the exams. But, while I’m in school, my pure focus is on school and achieving well in my exams; I work through my breaks and lunchtime. I have done my mock exams and got decent results and know in what areas I need to step up my revision. I am all about sport, sport, sport, but I know I have to have a plan B.
“The school has been fantastic and supports me in both areas. I am not allowed to take part in sports such as football because of my boxing commitments, so instead I am allowed to go into the gym and work on my fitness during PE lessons. That has helped me 100 per cent.
“As soon as I get home, I’m into my training clothes and off to train. After the success of this year, I am looking to make boxing my future. But, I have an apprenticeship in carpentry as my back-up plan.”