TOM LITTLE could no longer live with the idea of his son and dad watching him become a bloated and battered punchbag.
The Hatfield giant has just taken on four of the planet’s most dangerous heavyweights in Filip Hrgovic, Daniel Dubois, David Price and Mahammadrasul Majidov – without barely a decent training session.
When the 33-year-old father-of-three walked in to the Wembley hotel ahead of Saturday’s fight with Alen Babic, he joked the huge poster of his 19st former self on the wall looked more like a man waiting for a bus than a fight.
That sort of joke is why the fearless Traveller has always landed primetime fights in the blue riband division.
But he is deadly serious when talking about why he has shed over four stone to finally make a serious go of his dangerous career.
“I couldn’t carry on lying to myself and my dad, who put so much into my career as a boxer,” Little said.
“After that Majidov fight, on the Anthony Joshua undercard in Saudi Arabia, something finally clicked and I sat there thinking ‘what the hell have you done?’
“The crazy thing is, and I shouldn’t say it because people lose their lives doing this job, but I make my peace with everyone before I go into these fights.
“I have had the blind commitment and courage to go into these fights, with very dangerous men, but not to train properly for them and give myself a chance. It’s crazy.
“I don’t want to be a punchbag for these lunatics to batter anymore. In the past I have taken decent lumps of money for fights because, when you have three kids and it’s half an hour’s work, it’s handy.