8 months ago

In the space of only a few weeks, the arrival of Omari Samuel Maxwell has already turned his Dad’s world upside down.

But for the proud first-time father, Probellum boxer Sam Maxwell is now set on providing the kind of life where his son will never go wanting.

Maxwell’s fianc√© Sascha has excused him from the rigours of the night feed routine so that the 33-year-old, allowed to sleep in the spare room, can concentrate on his IBO world super-lightweight title fight on April 22.

He plans to return home that evening as a world champion and, in the process, having opened up a whole host of “life changing” opportunities for him and his growing family.

Little Omari, less than six weeks old, is a new and incredibly strong source of motivation for Maxwell and with his name blazoned across his fight shorts, he will do all he can to overcome Alejandro Meneses at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, later this month.

Maxwell is under no illusions, however, that once the fight is done and dusted, he will have to put the belt down and pick up the bottle.

“Ahead of each of my last few fights, I have approached them as if they would be the nights to change my life but the truth is, this IBO title fight in Liverpool has the ability to be a life changing moment for me and my family,” said Maxwell.

“The division looks like it is going to be blown wide open if Josh Taylor vacates his belts and moves up in weight and if I have the IBO title in my possession then it will open the door to some massive fights later this year. As I say, April 22 really could be a life changing night for me and my family.”

Maxwell’s world title fight was officially confirmed by Probellum earlier today but the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist has known it was in the works for months.

He admits it has been desperately difficult to keep the news under his hat.

I have known that this fight was in the pipeline for a while now, certainly since early this year, and I was hoping and praying it would come off,” he added.

“I’ve been buzzing about it for months but I’ve not been able to say anything to anyone!

“When I told friends and family that I was boxing on the show in Liverpool, I’ve had a lot of interest, and so I’ve been desperate to tell them that my fight would be for the IBO world title!

“Now that it has been made public, there will be even more interest.”

All the inspiration Maxwell could need was handed to him, wrapped in a blanket, at the beginning of March, but he also needs guidance ahead of the biggest fight of his career.

The former Salisbury ABC man has been training under the watchful eye of Manchester’s Steve Maylett for over a year and says his belief in his coach is total.

Adding to Maxwell’s confidence is the presence in the gym of Terry Flanagan, the former world lightweight champion who also moved to 140lbs to challenge for world honours, which included a title fight with Regis Prograis.

“It was tough to start with and to get into the swing of things but my sparring is getting better now, my times on runs and on the bike are improving and I am hitting the peak of my career at exactly the right time,” Maxwell declared.

“I’m 33 and, for some people that would mean they are past it, but I am feeling fit and I am feeling confident and I have so much more to give – starting on the 22nd.

“Steve is involved in everything about my boxing, from diet, to sleep and he sets a very high standard in the gym.

He took Terry Flanagan to the world title so I trust him even more and if I do what Steve tells me, then I know I can follow the same path as Terry.

“I can ask Terry anything and he is always in the gym and on hand to offer me bits of advice, which is amazing. Last year, we did a bit of sparring and you could just tell the level that he got to.”

Maxwell is a willing student of Flanagan’s rise to the top but, on April 22 at the M&S Bank Arena, he will be following in the footsteps of two of boxing’s modern day heroes.

“My career has been building to this moment,” said Maxwell.

“I won the WBO European title, then British and the Commonwealth and how I have this huge fight for the IBO world title.

“I feel lucky to be handed this opportunity and I will make the most of it.”

“Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao have held the title so it’s a belt with history. I watched those Hatton and Pacquiao fights, including when they fought each other, and so it is absolutely crazy to think I will now be fighting for that title.”

Sam Maxwell fights for the IBO world super-lightweight title at Probellum Liverpool on Friday, April 22 and all ticket information can be found here.