Big-hearted boxer Karl Wheeler became a punching machine to raise funds for a Peterborough boy with a rare blood disorder.
Wheeler is a single father and was touched by the story of Jamie Andrews.
The nine-year-old has had more than 200 blood transfusions after being born with a rare blood disorder.
Wheeler was contacted by his mother, Sarah Andrews, after making a Facebook appeal for worthy causes and last week he completed a punch-a-thon to raise funds for Jamie.
For five nights Wheeler threw non-stop punches for an hour at St Ives Boxing Academy, Fight Star Academy and Raw 32.
The 32 year-old has raised in excess of £2,500 after completing the last three hours with shoulder and hamstring injuries.
He said: “It was tough, but I pulled through in the end. I was hoping to raise £500, so to raise as much as we did was a great effort and I want to thank everyone involved.”
Completing the punching marathon is proof Wheeler is on the mend from a knee operation.
Wheeler last year posted back-to-back wins, but with a title shot pencilled in for October, he suffered an injury while sparring Wadi Camacho in London.
Wheeler said: “The MRI scan showed massive damage. The doctors couldn’t believe I could walk, let alone train.”
Last month, he underwent an operation to repair cruciate ligament and bone damage and with the help of physiotherapist Linzi Edgar, he’s targeting a ring comeback in October.
“I owe Linzi a lot,” said Wheeler. “It really, really hurts, but the next day, my knee feels so much stronger. Linzi has done some amazing things with me.”
Wheeler says he’s looking forward to kick-starting his ring career.
He returned last May after more than eight years away and looked good in wins over Paul Morris and Moses Matovu before he was injured.
Wheeler said: “I’m 32 years old and I have to get a move on. I want to climb the rankings as quickly as possible.
“I’m not one of those people who just want to tell everyone I’m a boxer.
“If I’m going to be a boxer, I want to box.
“The only reason I haven’t been boxing is because I’ve been injured.
“I want to have six or seven fights a year if I can. I think I’ve been pretty good in my two comeback fights and I want to build on that.”
Wheeler says he’s hoping to show what he can do in front of knowledgeable fight folk at the home of British boxing, York Hall in Bethnal Green in London’s East End.
“I’ve been there so many times to watch other people box,” he said.
“There’s no other venue quite like the York Hall and I really want to box there next year if possible.”
Wheeler says his son is his lucky charm.
He said: “I haven’t lost since Onri was born and I want to keep that going.
“I don’t ever want him to see his dad lose.
“I’m doing this for him.
“Onri has come to the gym with me and he looks good on the pads, but I’ve told him to stick to reading books and work hard at school.
“I would rather he read text books than threw left hooks.
“If Onri came to me and said: ‘Dad, I want to box’ I would back him 100 per cent, but I would be much, much happier if he didn’t.”