FCM One-on-One presents: Boxer EJ De Guzman, Fight for What You Want!
FCM: Tell us a little bit about you?
EJ: I was born in the Philippines. We moved to Quebec when I was 2 years old. We lived there until I was 8 years old. And then we moved to Calgary. I didn’t start boxing until last December (2015). I fought my first fight last July. Right now I’m in grade 12, and one of the youngest fighters from the boxing club.
FCM: How is it like to train and be a student at the same time?
EJ: It’s hard to balance both. I try to focus on studies. This is my priority. But it’s hard to balance both. Boxing takes a lot of my time. It takes a lot of energy and hard work. Sometimes, I don’t even have time to be with my family, but that’s ok because boxing is very important for me.
FCM: Why did you decide to do boxing?
EJ: Ever since I was young, we’d always watch Manny Pacquiao. That’s how I got exposed to boxing. My dad would have friends over to watch many fight. But I use boxing as an outlet. I played football before but it wasn’t my sport. I was a smaller guy. I didn’t realise it at that time but I beat myself up mentally because I wasn’t doing well in football. Then a friend told me about a boxing gym. So I started training. Boxing allowed me to do something that I could be proud of. Win or lose, I’m proud that I went in the ring and fought. There are a lot of people out there who feel insecure and small. They feel like they’re not able to accomplish anything or can’t do anything they can be proud of. When I fight, I’m fighting for these people.
FCM: Who do you look up to?
EJ: I really look up to my parents because of what I am now. I feel like I’m in a good spot now in my life. When we moved to Canada we lived in a small apartment. My dad earned minimum wage and worked really hard. I appreciate and respect my parents for that. It’s like boxing; you gotta put in the work and work hard if you want to make it.
FCM: What’s the toughest part of your preparation for a fight?
EJ: What makes boxing tough is the mental preparation. You need to not be afraid to lose. In my first fight, I struggled mentally. I was afraid of lose. That’s was the hardest part. You can’t relax when you feel scared of losing. But then I realized that losing is just another chance for me to learn. It’s ok to lose. Just go out there and do your best and learn.
FCM: Is boxing going to be a career for you?
EJ: I’ll do my best to be an amateur boxing right now. But if there’s a chance for bigger opportunities, say in national, Olympics, or pro, then I’ll do it. Right now I want to be the best boxer that I can be.
FCM: Any message to the Pinoy’s who are at your age?
EJ: In whatever you pursue, whatever you do, if you want it, fight for it. Don’t sit back and wait until you’re older, or bigger, or stronger. If you want it, just fight for it.