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Johnny Nelson


Johnny Nelson is a former professional boxer from Sheffield, England. He was WBO Cruiserweight champion for more than six years, having successfully defended the title 13 times. He is now a TV presenter for Sky Sports and an outstanding motivational speaker.

A self-confessed coward, Johnny hoped his opponents wouldn’t turn up, failing twice at his chance to take the world title. He relates his moving, funny, frank and inspirational story – from chump to champ – which includes drugs, gangsters and a terrifying plot to kidnap him. Johnny’s story has universal appeal that goes beyond boxing fans as an honest and straightforward account of overcoming personal fears and terrible setbacks to become the best in the world.

Johnny is a highly articulate, charismatic speaker. Keen to understand the brief for each event (preparation is the key to success in boxing, as in other sports), he relates his extraordinary story to the specific requirements of each audience, making his speeches relevant, inspirational and unforgettable.

Born Sheffield in 1967, Johnny Nelson also held the European and British cruiserweight titles. His fight record was 45 wins (29 by knockout), 12 losses and two draws. Johnny’s 14th defence of his WBO cruiserweight title was scheduled against Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli on the undercard for the Joe Calzaghe v Jeff Lacy WBO/IBF unification bout on 6 March 2006, but Johnny picked up and injury so the fight was cancelled. Johnny retired from professional boxing a few months later on 22 September 2006.

Since retirement from professional boxing, Johnny has spent some time working with the prison service helping inmates with life management skills. He has also undertaken charity work, agreeing to fight a charity match against Jos Battle, a property developer and son of Leeds West MP, John Battle.

Johnny’s parents split up when he was young and he didn't meet his biological father until he was in his thirties. He still lives in Sheffield with his wife Debbie and daughters Bailey and India. He has a daughter, Jorden, from a previous relationship. Johnny Nelson published his autobiography Hard Road To Glory, a fascinating and very honest book which will certainly interest boxing fans worldwide, and anyone with an interest in a story of personal success against the odds.

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