Byron Chime

Interviewed by Richard Hudson-Miles Photographs by Lucas Dove. Instagram: @lucasdove_photography

Name: Byron Chime

Age: 19

Hometown: London

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into boxing. Why boxing and not any other sport?

I’ve always been into sports and was considered as what some may call a well-rounded athlete for as long as I can remember. I played everything and was good at it. My first sports love was football and I played the game at every single given opportunity; in cage with some of the boys in the neighbourhood, lunchtimes at school after church sometimes with an empty coke can and at family functions with my favourite cousins. I was introduced to boxing by my dad he was well-rounded sports fan himself. I stood up to a bully in secondary school one day and came home to tell him the story. He was impressed and said to me “you might as well try boxing”. I didn’t think he was serious but I gave it a go and fell in love with it ever since.

Are you a member of a specific boxing gym? Are there any interesting characters there?

I’m a member of Kings gym in Leicester and have been since I joined after moving to Leicester after university. There are quite a few very interesting characters in the club one of the main ones is our head coach, Wayne. Top tier joker and prankster, he loves to have a laugh with the lads and is just all-round nice guy but when it’s time to work, you would think he is a completely different person. He brings a totally different level of energy and passion when it comes to being a coach and to boxing in general. He’s a true lover of pugilism.

You must have seen the Rocky movies right? Is real boxing anything like that?

Not quite to be honest but then again it is a movie and I do see and appreciate how they do try to incorporate realistic boxing movement into the movies as best as they can. I do see a lot of improvements in Creed though. One thing I know both sequels do well is display the raw emotion that is felt by every true die-hard boxer.  

Are there any boxers who you look up to? Why?

I look up to many great boxers because they are simply all just great. I like to pick as much knowledge as I can from all of them to help me perfect my craft. I’d say my favourite all time boxer is Lennox Lewis because he was just a smart boxer that knew how to make good use of his physical advantages and always meant business when he stepped into the ring. Lennox Lewis was also a fighter, so that when he was beaten in great style, he’d always return the favour to his victorious adversaries in even greater style like a true bad ass champion.

Do you have any other important influences?

My dad is a very big and important influence to me. He’s a man that works hard constantly to make sure me and my three younger siblings are well taken care of. It’s not easy to raise young black boys in London but he has and has done a great Job. I could even say he has redefined the role of a superhero for me. Most of the time, superheroes only rise up when there are villains to take down and bad situations that need to be fixed. My dad has protected my siblings and I from all of those things by not letting them get close to us and using warnings and words of wisdom to direct our paths away from things like that and towards things that will help us become the best versions of ourselves. 

What did you think of the Jake Paul fight the other night? Its making a lot of purists quite upset.

Personally, I respect his dedication to the sport and I’m impressed with how much he has improved since he started. I think he did as well as he could against Tommy Fury. He is a man that has been boxing since he was 6 years old and was born into the most prestigious fighting family the whole of the UK. Jake Paul came away from that fight with a split decision loss, meaning it was a very close fight and it could have possibly gone in his favour, so if you ask me, he has everything to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of. 

What’s on the cards for you in the next year, or next few years?

I’ll be doing everything that is necessary for me to just keep improving as a boxer and  I would love to win a National title in the near future and possibly get to the Olympics and win Gold.

And the twenty-four-thousand-dollar question: What’s your ring walk music, and why?

The real question is why does the question only cost twenty four thousand? What happened to the millions? (joke)

If I had to go with one, I would say ‘We will rock you’ by Freddie Mercury without the verse though. It’s a catchy song that everyone knows so it’s bound to get a large crowd singing along and I guess it gives my opponent an idea of what I plan to do to them in the ring. Rock them.