Adam Etches, 23, was born in Birley. While at Charnock Primary, his parents suggested he try kickboxing so he could ‘look after himself’, and he ended up competing for England in Europe, America and Africa. At 14, he took up boxing in order to improve his hands for kickboxing and discovered he preferred it. Now he holds the IBF Youth World Middleweight and Super Middleweight titles, WBC Youth World Title and has just been nominated as Young Boxer of the Year. On September 20, Adam will be fighting at Ponds Forge for the IBF international title. At Henry Fanshawe Secondary, he was in the same class as Sophie Eales, whose family business, Mercury Taxis, is one of Adam’s sponsors. It’s where he also met Danielle, now his girlfriend. Adam also enjoys golf, cycling and fishing, and has just cycled across the Sierra Nevada range for Weston Park Cancer Charity, for which he is an ambassador.
Napoleon’s Casino in Owlerton is a great place to socialise, the music isn’t too loud and all my friends go there. George, the manager, although a lot older than me, has become a friend. This is where we all tend to go after a fight as well. They put on food for us and we have an occasional flutter. I take my girlfriend, Danielle, who doesn’t see much of me otherwise because I’m always training.
Abbeydale Golf Club
I have only recently started playing golf so I haven’t joined a club as a member yet. It’s so relaxing with my phone is turned off. I’m still enjoying working my way round courses, but Abbeydale is my favourite so far. I like the views and the course is well kept. I have played with my former PE teacher and, at Hallamshire, with Alan Shearer.
This next pair may surprise you. I love football and played it all the time in my teens. My boxing coach used to moan I should spend more time training with him, my football coach said the same. Then I broke my leg playing football and the decision was made - I gave it up to box. Now I go to the Blades home games every other weekend with friends who have a box and who are great supporters of my boxing career. We have such a brilliant time. In fact, it’s usually only the result that spoils the day!
Where I come every other weekend with my Owls’ friends! Nobody can accuse me of being partial! I’ve become good pals with some of Sheffield Wednesday’s footballers through boxing. They come and support me at my fights and we play golf together. I enjoy meeting so many different people
Marmaris is a traditional Turkish barber’s on Abbeydale Road. A group of us always go in every Friday. It’s such a laugh with my mates Chris and Lee and owner Muzzy. I love the cut throat razor on the sides and a number two on top with a steamer on our faces and lovely hot towels. We feel so fresh when we leave.
I’ve been four times with the lads from my footballing days. We first went to watch an Amir Khan fight. The fight was cancelled, but we still had the time of our lives - pool parties, a meal on top of the stratosphere tower, helicopter over the Grand Canyon, the Venetian hotel, Caesar’s Palace (where I’ve since stayed) and the incredible MGM Grand. It’s the place where one day I want to take part in a headline fight.
Amici and Bici café
This café on Abbeydale Road is owned and run by my brilliant manager, Richard Poxon, and his wife Liz, whom I met through my trainer Andy Marlow. They sell wonderful cakes and coffee, but I can’t often have them with my training diet! A treat would be their tiffin and a latte. Without Richard, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He has such a dry sense of humour, always joking, but he takes my fights very seriously.
It’s great to have the backing of a big company like Mercury which supports the community and young people like me to achieve our dreams. For me, it’s becoming a world champion. I like to give back by helping out at events such as signing and showing my winner’s belts to kids at Whirlow Hall Farm Fayre on Sunday, which Mercury is sponsoring. I met Dermot, Mercury’s general manager through George at Napoleons. The companies do a lot of business together. It’s so important that as amateurs looking to turn professional we get corporate backing so we can focus on becoming the best.