Whatever way you define success, Devon-born Londoner Ben Day has already achieved it. Turning his life around after the tragic passing of his father, when Ben was just a teenager, and subsequently several years blighted by alcohol and its effects, is an impressive feat in itself. That Ben started boxing aged 27 and, after just one unlicensed bout, went unbeaten (one draw) through his first nine pro fights and captured a Southern Area belt at super-lightweight, a division or three heavier than his natural size, is also admirable.
Back-to-back defeats followed, both of which for the Area crown at lightweight - the most recent a second-round stoppage reverse to Luton's Michael Devine a year ago. Little has been heard of Day since and, having already overachieved significantly, few would begrudge the popular and now-39-year-old owner of Ringtone Gym a happy retirement. But Day is eager to return, and at his best weight.
"At the weigh in for the Devine fight I was well underweight, in hindsight maybe it was too light to box," he reveals. "After this I was meant to fight Jamie Speight at featherweight [for the Area belt he won in May], however the board intervened and stated that I had to prove I could fight at that weight and wanted me to do a four-rounder first. For me it was impossible to sell tickets for two fights back to back.
"Also I had various issues with my business and someone close to me passed away so mentally it’s been a horrendous year."
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Still with trainer Rod Julian and with a tumultuous 2017 almost behind him, Day is eyeing a return in the new year and believes his vegan diet can aid the move down in weight.
"It's the best thing I’ve ever done," he decares. "It keeps me on fight weight and is overall a healthier lifestyle. Whilst I originally turned vegan to aid my boxing, I have stuck to the diet as I care too much about animals and the environment.
"Feather is my natural weight, even walking around. My ultimate aim is to win a British title."
It appears an arduous task but given the obstacles Day has already overcome it would be hard to bet against him.