PUNCHING PREACHER Derrick Osaze passed a massive test by winning Ultimate Boxxer III but he fears he might have cost some his young congregation their exams.
The South London middleweight, now based in Nottingham, came through three gruelling fights on Friday night to win £16,000.
After a precautionary trip to A&E in the early hours and crashing out until Saturday evening, the 25-year-old woke up to a tidal wave of messages.
But some of the posts came from the youth pastor’s young fans who admitted to watching his wars when they they should have been studying.
Osaze said: “I woke up to 1,400 messages on WhatsApp and I was tagged in so many things on Instagram during the fight and through the weekend, it was crazy.
“A lot of the students from my church could not come down because they had university and exams but they were messaging me saying they were watching it in secret in the library and could not concentrate.”
Osaze has no plans to blow the hard-earned windfall and will invest in his future, after a romantic to break to Budapest to reward his wife for her relentless support.
But a big promoter should invest in the crowd-pleasing bruiser, whose army of fans took over the O2 Indigo and drowned out their rivals.
Del Boy said: “My support was amazing, I sold 100 tickets but they sounded like 1000 people.
“When I watched it back this morning I realised that BT Sport had actually gone over to them all and interviewed them especially, because of the noise they were making.
“When they moved closer to the ring later on and I could really hear them, it was a massive help when things got tough.
“Hopefully BT Sport and Ultimate Boxxer will have seen the support I have and the tickets I can sell and will be interested in me going forward.”
Osaze, who earned a Masters degree at Nottingham Trent university before settling in the city, did not make his amateur bow until he was 19, after leaving home, as his parents feared for his safety.
But both were front row to watch their boy become a local legend with nine thrilling rounds of non-stop action.
He said: “My parents were so proud but my mum still struggles to see me hurt and she went straight into mummy-mode and was trying to nurse me when I finally got home.
“They were so worried about me starting boxing so seeing them on BT Sport jumping up and supporting me was amazing.
“The money really doesn’t mean that much to me, it will be handy to clear some debts and treat my wife.
“But I really want this win and platform to be a springboard for my career and, after my holiday, I can’t wait to hear what my manager has to offer.”