You should know the name Dan Chapman
As a member of the Great Britain amateur set up, Chapman was a contender for the 2012 London Olympics and saw that as a springboard to a professional boxing career.
Luke Campbell and Jay Harris were his contemporaries, but while they have both fought for world honours in the professional ring, Chapman
was left having to rebuild his life.
“I went out on my motorbike to get some food,” remembered the 28 year old Welshman, “and this car came up right behind me. I turned round
to look at him and when I turned back, I hit a steel girder."
“I was lucky I was only going 38 miles per hour. Any faster and I might have been killed."
“But I broke my femur in six places, of all the times for it to happen."
“I lost everything. Boxing had been my life. That accident ripped my whole life apart."
“I really did feel I was the best on the planet before the accident. The only one who could have given me any trouble was Luke Campbell."
“I would have loved to have boxed him, but I never got the chance."
“After the accident, Luke was one of the first to text me, and I was glad he won the Olympics, though I wish it had been me!"
“After I had the operation on my leg, the doctor told me I would never train again, and that was so hard to hear.”
Fast forward a decade and Chapman has got a world-title shot – but not in gloved boxing.
Bareknuckle boxing bosses confirmed this week that the vacant world lightweight championship would be on the line when Chapman fights fellow Welshman Sean George on their next show.
Chapman has won both his bareknuckle fights to date and has just signed a new contract with promoters BKB.
“The name of the game is hitting and not getting hit,” said Chapman, “and that’s always been my motto."
“If you stand toe to toe in a bareknuckle fight, you will end up with a broken jaw or broken nose. These bareknuckle guys are no mugs,
but the ring is my home.”
As it has so many others, boxing saved Chapman.
“I’ve been through a lot in my life,” he said. “My dad left home when I was young, my mum got in with the wrong kind of men, and I was in
and out of foster homes from the age of three."
“Mum ended up in jail. She wrote to me thousands of letters telling me things would be different when she got out, but the day she got out,
she rang me, and she was off her face on drink and drugs."
“I told her; I don’t ever want to talk to you again."
“I was ten years old at the time, and it was the best decision of my life."
“I don’t know how I did it, but I stayed positive. I got on with life.”