‘I want to win a world title’ – former Liverpool Academy player on his journey to professional boxing

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Former Liverpool Academy player Paddy Lacey has opened up on the difficulties he has faced in recent years as he prepares to fight professionally in Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena next month.

It’s been just under five years since the 28-year-old failed a drug test whilst playing for Accrington Stanley in League Two, admitting ‘It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I knew it would crush him’ when having to explain to his father what had happened.

During a hearing at Wembley, the Football Association hit the Scouser with a 14-month ban from professional football after it was confirmed cocaine had been found in his system following a Christmas night out.

“I was a mess. I look back now and I can’t believe it. I let so many people down. That train back from London was a lonely place. I’d worked so hard to get myself a career, and I knew I’d chucked it away,” the ex-Red schoolboy told GOAL.

In the summer of 2017, Lacey was then caught in possession of cocaine, MDMA and over £500 in fake cash whilst at the popular Glastonbury Festival – he was jailed for 16 months.

Following his release from prison and the expiry of his FA ban – the midfielder trained with Stanley and Yeovil Town but injuries meant neither club were keen to offer him a contract.

Instead, the man who trained with both Conor Coady and Jon Flanagan during his time at the Anfield club, is now combining a part-time playing role at Chester with a professional boxing career that will see him enter the ring on December 11 for just his second ever professional bout.

“I plan to soak up everything. When I made my pro debut at the Olympia, I couldn’t stop smiling, and you can times that by 20 at the Arena – I don’t mind saying it; I want to win a world title. People will laugh, but why not shoot for the stars?” Lacey said.

“I’ve watched other Scouse boxers achieve their dreams. Paul, Stephen, Callum Smith, Beefy, Tony Bellew, David Price, Derry Mathews, Rocky Fielding. They’re my heroes. If they can do it, why can’t I?”

It’s great to see that the Bootle-born lad has overcome all the difficulties he has faced during his career and let’s hope he puts on a show to remain undefeated as a professional boxer next month.

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