email@example.com (Chris McKenna)
Isaac Chamberlain gave up on a job at Nandos as a teenager because he couldn’t stop eating the fries.
But when the chips were down on his boxing career he never quit.
Instead, he had the hunger to battle on as he waited 22 months to get back on track after being forced to sit out because of contractual rows.
Now the Brixton fighter who once swept out Miguels Gym in London for a few quid to feed himself is hoping he can strike it rich in the sport which hasn’t given him a gift yet.
Cruiser hopeful Chamberlain, 26, is now promoted by Mick Hennessy and will have his second fight on Channel 5 tonight on the undercard of Alex Dilmaghani’s European super-featherweight clash against Samir Ziani.
Chamberlain returned two weeks ago with a win over Antony Woolery and now faces Matt Sen as he plots his route to the top.
“I endured the time out, I got through it,” said Chamberlain.
“I was watching people pass me and I was just day dreaming about the time I would be back in the ring.
“It came into my head a few times about quitting but what else would I do? I kept going.
“I’m just grateful that I’ve got the opportunity to live my dream again.
“When it gets hard or when I’m dieting or I have to wake up at 5am to run I am doing it with a smile on my face because I know what it is like to not have boxing.”
Chamberlain started boxing at 11 when his mum marched him to the gym after his cousin was stabbed and killed at 15.
She didn’t want him following the same path and he never looked back as he did anything he could to keep training during his teens.
“I came from nothing,” he said.
“I didn’t want to sell drugs to make money. I would sweep the gym for a fiver to get some food and keep the day going.
“I tried to work in Nandos. I lasted about a week because I kept eating the chips.
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“It was tough but when you are going through it you don’t care, you think you are going to get there.”
Chamberlain thought he was on the way to the big time two years ago when, as an rising unbeaten star, he faced Lawrence Okolie in a domestic duel.
The defeat crushed him and after one more fight he was out in boxing’s wilderness.
Now he is hoping fighting in front of a large terrestrial TV audience can open doors for him again.
Dilmaghani v Ziani and Chamberlain v Sen is live on Channel 5 tonight from 10pm