This week, the unbeaten middleweight breaks down why sponsors are so important to a professional boxer's career and what happens when the financial backing is lacking:
"As my next fight on July 27 begins to draw near, I start to appreciate the sponsors that I have backing me that much more.
Sponsors are vital to an athlete’s career and Eat Clean Cuisine have been there since around three or four fights into my professional career and supply all my nutrition for training camps.
I order my meals every week, as it changes all the time depending on what my sessions are, and I collect the packages from their place just around the corner from my house. It’s really handy to be able to pop round and pick up, especially when travelling to different gyms all the time and eating on the go every two or three hours or so, I just grab it on the way.
It’s also a massive help, financially. Meal prep can be expensive when you buy so much chicken, salmon and steaks with fresh produce, it can add up to quite a lot of a money to do it right.
Plus, it can consume a lot of your time to meal prep each week and there will always be weeks where you can’t find the time to do it and then you’ll end up not eating as well and affecting your weight plan. Plus, my meal prep skills will never be as good as theirs!
I am also fortunate to have Cheshire Landscapes just come on board for my 10th professional fight. I’m doing my house up at the minute, it’s my first house and I gutted it, so it’s been a lot of hard work but almost there now, the finishing line is in sight! My mate, Mike Walker, owns Cheshire Landscapes and he will be landscaping the front and back gardens of my new house, which will save me thousands.
Sponsors are important at this stage of my career because the rounds will start going up, this next bout is my first six-rounder, so the financial backing allows you to get the important rest you need in between sessions. It’s not all about the training and having money to fund camps, it’s also about important rest periods, which helps you get to the next level with your strength work, training and sparring, it allows you push on that bit more.
I used to have a sponsor that paid me £1k a month and that was enough for me to train full-time and I just worked shifts – I’m a self-employed joiner – here and there. It was a few years back and I was living at home with my dad still, so it covered me, especially with the fight money I would earn on top of that, so it was perfect while it lasted.
However, now that I’ve got my own home and a few more bills to pay, I would need slightly more than that to be able to train full-time, which is what I am looking for from a main sponsor.
I have performed on two of Anthony Crolla’s world title undercards, I was on the undercard of Robbie Davies Jr’s ITV fight, have been on BoxNation TV once before and my next fight will be televised on BoxNation as well. It’s at Bolton FC’s Macron Stadium and features British and Commonwealth heavyweight hero David Price in the headliner, so it will be an attractive event with loads of viewers tuning in.
Sponsors can make or break a boxer’s career, I have heard of so many talented fighters forced to retire before they have achieved their full potential because of the money side of things. If every boxer automatically had a sponsor backing them, I guarantee Britain would have double the world champions right now.
I am lucky to have a Sports Agency that handles all my PR and Sponsorship activities so please get in touch with TR Sports Agency if you have any interested in joining Team Wheatley!"
To follow Nathan ‘The Wire’ Wheatley on Twitter, click here @0401_nathan