Project 0/1 pulled it off with another successful fight night in Shenzhen last month, featuring a number of male and female boxing matches. An intense atmosphere lingered as each match brought with it such competitiveness and pure hunger for victory.
Dongguan’s Belgian boxer Steven Dejager finally came to the end of his journey of extreme training and waiting for the big day when he stepped into the ring to fight his opponent, from the UK. Several of months of hard work, dedication, motivation and resilience boiled down to this day, this match. Fighting his way to the end, Steven bagged the gold and the glory, leaving his friends, family and fans proud and elated.
Feeling truly proud of Steven and his conquest after seeing him train and understanding his situation through several interviews, I conducted my final interview with our champion following the finale.
So Steven, you won! Congratulations and well done, it’s an amazing achievement. How do you feel?
Thanks! Yeah I feel good; it was a crazy night you know. I remember looking straight at my opponent in the eyes, and not seeing anything else around me! I wanted to win obviously, we had both gone through intensive training and it was a good fight. It feels almost like completing a project.
So explain to me your take on how the match unfolded.
As soon as we began we flew into each other, he was throwing punches and I was dodging them, it was really cool how it took place actually. I was focusing on dodging blows and keeping my stamina going which was always my technique. Anyway, after a while he tried to swipe me, I dodged it and he dislocated his shoulder.
I was really impressed because he showed such determination, he put his shoulder back into place and wanted to continue the fight, but he was in too much pain and it definitely would not have been very smart to continue to do so.
What was going through your head whilst you were in the boxing ring?
Sparring is one thing but going in the ring is just crazy – it’s a whole different ball game. Once you get into it, it’s a very tough mind game – it’s not just physical and it’s not just about going for each other, you have to be focused and determined and concentrate on a lot of things.
I suppose your coach Anthony was supporting you every step of the way?
Anthony was indeed very supportive. Obviously I was nervous before the match and he was great with me, making sure I had everything I needed and supporting me. My friends were also there with me cheering me on and I think that really makes a difference to your attitude before the match and your performance.
So, what’s next?
I need to start training again soon because as I explained at the end of the fight, it was not the way I wanted to win, so I would like to fight again in December – so it’s on again!
I was afraid I was going to fall into that pit of losing motivation once it was over, but I know I’m going to start training again soon and get back to it. There are lots of people who are keen for sparring in Dongguan which is great.
Do you have any advice for those who wish to follow in your footsteps and take on the white collar boxing challenge?
You have to be very confident and believe in yourself, because if you step in that ring and feel you’re going to lose, the fear is all over your face and the opponent knows it!
Well we have reached the end of an inspiring journey that our very own Steven Dejager has undergone and concluded, having swept the trophy in the process! However, is it really the end? Watch this space for round two in December!