Derrick Osaze became one of the main talking points after being confirmed as one of the eight taking part in Ultimate Boxxer III. Introducing the ‘Punching Preacher’, Osaze is an ordained minister as well as a professional boxer.
When asked by WBN about his entrance to boxing, he said: “First of all, how I started boxing when I was a 15 year old was just to keep out of trouble.
“At age 15, I was on the verge of getting kicked out of school. I had a lot of issues dealing with anger when I was younger.” Being a common solution for getting out of trouble, Osaze followed the path of boxing after dabbling in a few sports.
“I was always a sports fanatic playing football, rugby, basketball but my disciplinary record wasn’t the greatest so I’d always follow boxing. Watching it with my parents and my friends would recommend that it might be good for me.
“They said I could channel my aggression into a different sport, so I started boxing when I was 15. It went from a hobby to a passion to a lifestyle.
“Almost 10 years later I’m standing here in front of you as a pro.”
Osaze has amassed a record of 6-0 (1 KO), and in the midst of his career, he was ordained as a minister.
Osaze would be given the nickname ‘The Punching Preacher’ which he shed some light on during the exclusive interview.
“As for the nickname the Punching Preacher, it’s not a nickname I picked for myself. It’s a nickname I tried to reject at all times. But it was given to me by my manager Jimmy Gill because I’m an ordained minister.
“I was ordained last year in March. So I guess I’d embrace the nickname now because it’s the truth, I do punch and I do preach.
“It’s caught on. My parents call me the ‘Punching Preacher’, everyone at my church so it’s kind of stuck with me. So yeah, that’s the story behind it.”
Osaze is one of eight middleweights who will fight 3 x 3 rounds to progress onto semi finals and eventually the final.
“When my manager got the call asking if I wanted to be in Ultimate Boxxer, there was never a doubt in my mind,” he explained.
“It was probably the easiest and quickest decisions I’ve made in my life. Because why wouldn’t I?
“I wasn’t bothered about who would be in it or who I’d be fighting because it’s just a great platform to use as a launchpad to basically propel your career onto bigger and better things.”
Ultimate Boxxer since its first event in April last year has grown significantly. Interest grew allowing BT Sport to pick up broadcasting of the tournament.
The winner will not only gain the exposure of live TV coverage but also a generous £50,000 purse.
Osaze is more than grateful for the exposure so far. He looks forward to soaking it up come May 10th at the Indigo at the O2.
“The prospect of being on Ultimate Boxxer is exciting, I feel like we wouldn’t be able to be here speaking to all these media and presenters and reporting journalists if not for the exposure that we’re talking about.
“I think it’s a great concept as well. It’s an entertainment factor as well which plays a big part in boxing today. It’s great, I’m 100% and I can’t wait.”
BT Sport will broadcast the Ultimate Boxxer series live on TV and YouTube. Starting on Friday 10th May from The O2. Tickets available from http://www.ubxr.co/ub3-tickets
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller