Meet the Athletes
Isaac Chamberlain – the London boxer with the world at his feet
Isaac’s became a TCA athlete through the friendship he developed with Frankie Thorogood – the entrepreneur behind TCA (www.tca.fit) – which all started via Instagram. There was clear synergy between TCA and Isaac, as Isaac was already a long-time customer and a fan of the brand. He was looking for sponsorship at a time when Frankie was keen to sign up ambassadors – it was a perfect match.
Isaac made his professional debut at the 02 Arena on Anthony Joshua’s undercard in January 2015, followed by a career highlight in his 6th pro fight against Wadi Camacho for the Southern Area Cruiserweight Title. In the third round of the fight, his first shot at a title, Isaac dislocated his shoulder. He says,
“I was thinking, why me? I work so hard and this is happening to me. The corner popped it back in and my eyes were fluttering with pain, but I thought there are so many supporters out here, shouting and screaming my name – I wasn’t going to stop there. I just thought ‘today is a good day to die boy, I don’t even care, whatever, let’s go’ and we just went for it.”
That fight put Isaac on the map. After going the full 10 rounds, Isaac won on points, and the fight was later voted 2016 Fight of the Year.
Isaac can include Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte and Oleksandr Usyk amongst his list of sparring partners.
Isaac was trained by his uncle, Ted Bami - a former European Champion - and was unbeaten on a 9-0 streak before headlining the 02 in 2018 against Lawrence Okolie. The fight did not go his way and the night was marred further when betrayal by his uncle and trainer was uncovered. This was the catalyst for change and Isaac is now coached by world class trainers Angel Fernandez and Jorge Rubio. The team, who have previously coached the likes of Amir Khan, David Haye and Luis Ortiz - are developing a stable of athletes - including UFC fighter Nathaniel Wood - at Raptors Strike Force Gym in Sutton.
“My career has been different to the average boxer. But I’m not the average boxer. The goal is to start challenging for World Titles as soon as possible. I want to be the best athlete I can be every day.”
The charismatic boxer with a big heart is an ambassador for the Kiyan Prince Foundation, an anti-knife crime charity set up in the memory of Kiyan Prince, a 15 year old British boy who was fatally stabbed in Edgware, London in 2006 while intervening to prevent the bullying of another boy. He says “When I was growing up in Brixton there was a lot of gang violence. My cousin was stabbed and killed - losing a loved one like that changes everything. Getting off the streets and into the gym was my way out – it gave me a purpose and boxing became my obsession. I was pushed hard but praised too and that’s what kept me coming back. When you start boxing you don’t want to fight on the street - you don’t need to. It teaches you mental strength, character and discipline. It gives young kids a voice.”
Isaac has since moved out of Brixton to Sutton, just five minutes from Raptors Gym and his daily training sessions. He says, “When I walk through the door all distractions are gone - I’m there to work and to win - nothing is going to get in my way’.
At just 25 and with a world-renowned team in his corner, Isaac is undoubtedly the ‘one to watch’.
UFC’s one to watch: Nathaniel Wood
UFC Bantamweight Nathaniel Wood, aged 26, is a London-born mixed martial artist and former Cage Warriors World Champion who’s attracting the attention of the MMA public.
Training as a carpenter before taking up MMA, Nathaniel quickly rose to the top, turning pro at 19 and becoming Cage Warriors Bantamweight World Champion in 2017. His first title defence was an epic comeback victory against Josh Reed that went viral, hitting over 25m views online and being named the greatest round in Cage Warriors history. His second defence ended with a KO after 50 seconds and went viral again. Nathaniel’s star was on the rise, and in 2018 the UFC came calling.
Wood lived up to the hype, winning on his UFC debut and being awarded the coveted ‘Performance of the Night’ award and $50,000 bonus after defeating the highly experienced and rated Jonny Eduardo.
From the beginning his dream was to get on the London card. That dream became a reality in March 2019 when he fought at the O2 Arena against Jose Quinonez. He won the fight via a submission in round two. Wood now has 3 wins from 3 in the UFC.
Wood is currently the only London fighter signed to the UFC. Setting him apart from other MMA fighters, he carries himself with class and dignity often appearing quiet and introverted, but holding nothing back on fight night.
“My goal is to represent my country and London, and to make people proud of me. There are a lot of trash-talking fighters in MMA that give us a bad name. I want to be known for exciting fights and entertaining the crowd. I don’t need a Lamborghini or any of that, I’m a family man that wants to perform to my best and make my country proud.”
Wood wants to use his status for good and works with local charities including Jigsaw – a charity which supports kids with tough upbringings or who have suffered abuse and a local Bowel Disease charity.
The must-watch fighter is coached by his father, who has been by his side since day one. He also works with retired UFC fighter and legendary coach Brad Pickett, and rising star Angel Fernandez at the Raptors Strike Force Gym in Sutton, Surrey.
Sohail Ahmad - The ‘Showstar’ boxer
Sohail Ahmad - the British-Afghan Pro boxer – has set his sights on a world title and he’s not letting anyone or anything get in his way. The show-stopping light welterweight has defied all the odds to fight his way to the top and he has every intention of staying there.
After arriving from Afghanistan as a refugee, aged just 12 and with no family with him, Sohail sought refuge in London and grew up in various shelters and foster homes. This is a man whose back story sparked a desire to succeed from an early age and whose battle against adversity is belied by his showmanship in the ring. He started boxing at the age of 17 as an amateur, turning pro in 2015 at age 25. With steely determination he focussed on his education and training, gaining a place at London Metropolitan University and a degree in Sports Science. His record now stands at 12 wins and one draw from 14 fights.
He says, “Success in the ring requires mental toughness. I learnt that toughness from an early age and I’ve literally fought my way out and up. I knew what I wanted to do and that I was the only one that could really make it happen.”
But that’s not all, in between fights, Sohail finds time to work as a boxing coach and personal trainer and is in demand to work with celebrities - Dua Lipa and Ellie Goulding are just a couple of the stars who he works with.