James 'The Bear' Gill, who lives in Carew Road, Northwood, will fight a White Collar Boxing match on August 2 to raise funds for Broadway Homeless Charity.
Having never boxed before, James is following a strict diet and training regime in the run up to the event at the London Irish Centre in Camden.
“I’m living like a professional boxer for 10 weeks,” said the 31-year-old.
“It’s all regulated and official and safe and we’ll have head guards, although my mum is still refusing to come.”
At 110kg and 6ft 3in, James will fight an amateur opponent in the super heavyweight division.
“I’ve just found out I’ll be fighting a 40-year-old fireman who I imagine will be quite fit,” said James, “so I’ve lots more training to do.”
He is training six days a week and has been pounding the streets of Northwood to ensure his stamina will see him through the fight. He also travels across London once a week to practise sparring.
Despite having no previous boxing experience and admitting there is a chance he could walk away with some injuries, he has not let nerves get the better of him.
“My wife is more nervous about it that me. I’m not too worried, I just want to make sure I’m in good shape and put on a good show,” he said.
“We’ll use extra-padded gloves so the punches won’t be so hard, but I could still end up with a black eye or broken nose, but the most important thing is that I make lots of money for Broadway.”
Broadway is a London-based charity that supports homeless and vulnerably housed people across London and offers mental, physical and social support to help people get a roof over their heads.
“It’s a little charity I spotted on Facebook which is why I chose it,” explained James, who works as an international transport coordinator at Brookfield Construction in Chiswick.
“I work with a lot of high-end clients and see all their nice homes and locations,” he said.
“I believe charity starts at home so I want to put something back.
“Broadway does more than just soup kitchens. They put a lot of emphasis on making sure these people get a good night’s sleep which is so important if they are to get up and have a productive day.
“They also run courses and offer learning opportunities.”
James plays for Pinner Rugby Club and in the past has taken part in a rugby sevens tournament for Marie Curie Cancer Care and also ran a half marathon for Cancer Research.
“I’ve not set a target for my fundraising as I don’t want to reach it and get complacent,” said James.
Broadway’s fundraising manager for individuals and communities, Kirsty Telford said: “James has taken on an amazing personal challenge and we are thrilled that he chose Broadway as his charity.
“His passion and enthusiasm not just for the actual training and event but also for the work we do is inspiring. He has really taken the challenge very seriously.
“All the funds raised will help us help homeless people across London make their journey from street to home and we are grateful for the support from people just like James.
“James is our modern day Rocky Balboa and we wish him all the luck in the world for his challenge match.
“We are always looking for new supporters and volunteers so if James’s story has inspired you, please do get in touch.”
Tickets cost £25 and £40 and are available now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can donate online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thebearboxes.