Aspiring Sheffield amateur boxer helped Kell Brook prepare for weekend show

Kell Brook and Ryszard Lewicki
Kell Brook and Ryszard Lewicki

Ryszard Lewicki's rise through the amateur boxing ranks earned him the unique chance to play a role aiding former world champion Kell Brook's training camp.

Brook may have done the bulk of his preparation for Saturday's contest with Michael Zarafa in Fuerteventura, but there has been a definite "Made in Sheffield" feel to his pre-fight regime.

Ryszard Lewicki and another Brook sparring partner Samuel Vargas

Ryszard Lewicki and another Brook sparring partner Samuel Vargas

And one of his sparring partners overseas was Walkley amateur champion Lewicki, aged 22.

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for him to pit his skills against one of the best in the world.

Lewicki has been boxing for 10 years under Sheffield coach Brendan Warburton and had 100 fights, winning multiple Yorkshire and national titles and international golds. 

Bizarrely, the Polish-born middleweight has been called up to box for GB since he was 14 but due to passport issues now competes for the country of his origin, with Tokyo 2020 in mind.

He got the chance to trade punches with Brook because of his growing reputation

"They believed I had what it takes to test Brook right at the end of his camp" he said. "Brook and his coach are well aware of who I am and what I’m capable of. Being in Fuerteventura was amazing, seeing how a world champion organises his camp and the phenomenal shape he is in. 

"The experience is invaluable, it has taught me so much. This has taught me how a champion organises a professional team, where everybody has their role. I’ve also been able to see their training regime and pick up my game.  Kell’s got a stinging jab. No matter what this kid (Zarafa) brings to the table he’s getting put to sleep. 

"I must have iron jaw and teeth -one uppercut made me bite through £90 gumshield! "Most of all I have learned that I belong here, and one day I will be the headline of such events." 

Lewicki, who was born in Szczecin, Poland regards himself as an aggressive boxfighter. "I adapt to what’s in front of me and use my knowledge and experience to beat my opponents,” he said. I strive on my strength, speed agility and fitness to overpower opponents.  My strongest point is that I get better as fights go on, my engines turn on the heat and I take over. 

"My weak point over the years is that I’m a late bloomer. I have boxed for 12 years and never stopped for a second and I get better every day but I’m still far away from where I want to be. 

"My short-term goal is to maintain my position as the Polish number 1. My medium term goal is to qualify for the Olympics and my long-term goal is to succeed as a professional." 

Outside boxing, the fighter has just graduated from Sheffield Hallam as a Bachelor of Science and he's returning to study in January for a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy.

"As well as training at Sheffield City boxing club and studying I work as a support worker in a disablity village in Handsworth" he said.