James Moorcroft wants to become the new English Title Elimination holder for one very special reason – to make his family proud.
The Hindley boxer is looking to capture the second title of his professional career when he faces London’s Ohio Kain Iremiren belt on Saturday, December 7 at the University of Bolton Stadium.
He is currently in the form of his life, impressively winning his last three fights by stoppage to take his record to 12-0.
And that form has helped Moorcroft, 26, earn a title shot before Christmas, and build the reputation as one of the brightest prospects on the British boxing scene.
And he says the motivation for his rise through the ranks is to make his family – from his parents to grandparents to his girlfriend, Hannah Wilson– proud.
They all come to watch each and every one of his fights, with his grandma Rennee even throwing a shadow punch every time Moorcroft lands a blow on one of his opponents.
His dad Alby, who has always been a massive boxing fan, is his main ticket-seller throughout his hometown.
Along with his friends Terry Peers and Brian Lee, he organises coach transport to and from the Ellesmere Pub in Hindley for the fights, which has been a big help for the 150-strong supporters.
It is very much a family affair – and one that the welterweight appreciates.
“It means everything, I love my family – I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” said Moorcroft.
“My dad Alby, my mum Lynda, my grandparents Norman and Rennee and my girlfriend Hannah are all God-sends.
“They’re amazing, and literally every time I put on a boxing glove, I do it for them.
“They’re my inspiration, they’re my role models, and they’re my will to succeed.
“A lot of fighters when they get put into my position are always thinking of the money, fame and recognition that comes with winning a title,.
“But for me, they’re all secondary. Making my family proud will always be my main priority and joy – and that’s whether I’m fighting for a English Title Eliminator or a World Title, my mindset will never change.
“My family will always be the thing I care about the most. It’s a circle of strength, that’s founded on faith, and joined together by love.
“Everyone sees me during the highs and celebrates alongside me after a fight, but it’s easy to support someone when things are going well.
“It’s during the dark times that the support matters the most, and my family have always been my rock through thick and thin, and I will always be eternally grateful for how everyone has supported me.
“While I’ve won every fight in 2019 so far – outside of the ring – it has been a difficult year for me for various different reasons.
“But my boxing, as well as my family, have helped me get by in the last 12 months.
“I class everyone who has supported me as family now, and without all their backing, I would be a nobody.
“I’m living my dream, and honestly, it’s amazing to be able to do what I do. It’s what childhood dreams are made of – I have to pinch myself every day that I get to live this life.
“If I win the English Title Eliminator, it won’t just be my title, it’s everybody’s.
“From the sponsors who allow me to fight, my boxing team, and to my amazing family, it is for them.
“My second family at Blundell’s Gym is amazing. I can’t thank everyone enough, and it is the best boxing gym in the world.
“Lee and Luke are unbelievable coaches and even better people, and then you’ve got the likes of Rhiannon Dixon, her boyfriend Ross, and Lee’s wife Allison and other son Harvey, who are just a few reasons on why Blundell’s Gym is so special.
“I’m more than ready for this – I’m hungry for it – and you’d better believe I will become the new champion!”