When Ace Adam was around 17-years-old, two chancers who wanted his mobile phone tried to mug him near his home in Catford, south London.
The incident prompted his concerned uncle to take him to Balham Boxing Gym and, eight years later, his talented nephew is about to turn pro.
"It was wrong place wrong time," Ace said when referring to the attempted mugging.
"They tried to get my phone and I tried to defend myself. I didn’t know much but I knew how to throw a left and a right. I ended up hurting my hand."
He managed to keep his phone and soon after was taken to a boxing gym to follow in the footsteps of his grandad, Lloyd Barnett, who was a professional heavyweight during 1947-1953. He won 21 from 40 fights and went the distance over eight-rounds with world heavyweight champion Ingemar Johansson.
Ace, who won a national light-heavyweight title in the Queensbury Boxing League, going undefeated in six fights, is now heading to the pro ranks under the guidance of manager Scott Welch. The 25-year-old only started boxing in 2011, but had his first amateur bout within a year in 2012 and reached the Novices finals the following year in 2013. Overall, he experienced just 18 amateur fights, but managed to win the London ABAs and reach the National quarter-finals within that short time.
Now, he is preparing to turn professional and is learning how to juggle work with boxing, as many others in the early part of their pro boxing careers have to do.
"I run in the mornings, work during the day and train in the evenings," the care supervisor for the elderly in Bromley said.
"I enjoy it and I know it’s a journey. My end goal is to become a world champion and I will remember where I came from when I do it."
Ace, who now trains at Sting ABC in Croydon, wants to use his platform as a boxer to be an inspiration to young people and added that the knife crime in London is "crazy" at the moment.
He described himself as a "local normal boy from Catford" who proves that hard work pays off.
"Don’t steal, don’t rob, just work diligently, save money and do what you need to do," Ace preached.
The Catford boxer has plans to win the Southern Area title as his first milestone, then wants English and British, with world honours as the ultimate goal, and is keen on challenging the likes of Chris Eubank Jr along the way.
"If you’re confident you have to think you’re the best," he said.
Ace has already undergone all his medicals and is now waiting for a hearing from the BBBofC to be able to formerly apply for his professional boxing license, which he anticipates will be in April with plans to debut in June.
He built up quite a fanbase from his reign as champion in the Queensbury Boxing League and has asked for his local area of south London to get behind him, "All my friends and family are really excited and happy for me. With my grandfather being a boxer, they just said that it’s in my genes."
To follow Ace Adams on Twitter, click here @officialaceadams