My Special Day with Carl Froch
Last Updated: 12/12/13 11:22am
The second My Special Day of the 2013 series saw 17-year-old boxer Tyler White spend an unforgettable couple of days with a certain Mr Carl Froch.
Here, Tyler, who also has his own blogspot www.twhite95.blogspot.co.uk looks back on how a simple tour around Sky Studios ended up as an experience of a lifetime.
I arrived at Sky Studios to be told by my coach, Andre, that Ryan - my best friend and fellow boxer - and I were going on a tour around the complex.
I thought that was awesome - and it got even more awesome when I realised Carl Froch and George Groves were filming 'Ringside' - but I wasn't expecting what happened next...
Part way through the tour, I was told to go into a room. I looked through the window and saw cameras, so I turned around and said "but they're filming..." It didn't matter, I was told - go on in.
I opened the door and there he was: the WBO and IBF World Champion - Carl 'The Cobra' Froch!
I thought I was dreaming - and then Carl said to me "You must be Tyler. I think you've been set up!"
He knew all about me and my story - he told me I was going to be watching the filming of Ringside and that I would be ringside for The Cobra's world title defence. Suddenly an awful year looked to have a bright ending.
Carl said I was a focused young man. It really meant a lot to me - for a hero of mine to say this about me was amazing. To know Carl had heard about my story is great for my confidence. What he said to me I will keep with me forever.
But what is my story? Why did I get this amazing experience? Well, five years ago I lost my dad to Hodgkins Lymphoma - a cancer of the white blood cells. After my dad's death I started boxing, it was really a release of anger, but also to make him proud.
After a successful start (4-0-0) I was told that I too, had Hodgkins Lymphoma - in February of 2013. I began four months of intensive chemotherapy and then a further two months of radiotherapy - it was a real, tough time. Thankfully, I came through and I'm now in remission - I found out just before the Froch v Groves fight - but my dream of becoming a world champion was the one thing I never lost sight of.
A few weeks later I travelled up to Manchester for the weigh-in just and the atmosphere was incredible, afterwards I had a quick chat and a few photos - Carl said that he'd heard about my good news about being in remission.
Saturday was fight night! As I walked into the arena, I was astonished by the size of the venue. Everywhere I looked there were sporting heroes - I met Amir Khan, David Haye, Ricky Hatton and Ricky Burns - amazing.
Before Carl's title defence, I visited him in the changing rooms, wishing him luck - I really didn't expect him to see me right before his contest.
The fight was incredible - a credit to British boxing - and my heart felt as though it was beating out of my chest.
After the contest, I went backstage to see Carl. Again, I didn't expect to see him after such a tough fight but he allowed me into his changing room, where he gave all those present a short speech about me - saying how brave I had been, that I was a fighter and an inspiration. Wow!
Carl let me hold onto his WBO belt and I thanked him for everything. Carl proved what a humble champion he really is. He made a fan's dream come true - he's a fantastic example of a people's champion. Thanks a lot Carl!!!
In the future, I hope to keep competing in boxing and eventually turn professional. From there I aim to win as many titles as I can but the big one I want is a world title.
After my battle against cancer and after meeting so many boxing legends, it's made me even hungrier and more determined to never give up and keep on chasing down my dreams.
As I said when diagnosed: "My dreams will become reality - cancer can't stop me!"