Cam Awesome has already had enough of a sports career to write a film plot. He made paperwork errors which led to getting banned for missing a drug test – which scuppered his hopes for the 2012 Olympics.
Four years later he was vegan and had collected dozens of US national and international honours at heavyweight and superheavyweight – and was tipped for success in the 2016 games. He won the US qualifiers and then an unexpected loss led to him missing the games.
Since then he’s been known as a motivational speaker and stand up comic, but the boxing never left him.
“I was primarily concentrating on public speaking and comedy. Boxing had become somewhat of a ‘side-chick’. But after finding success in the speaking world, I remembered how much of a baddie my side-chick was…I kind of missed boxing.”
The man described as the ‘Taylor Swift of Boxing’ has been known for his upbeat interviews and entertaining style in the ring. He’s added a lot to the sport and no doubt there was concern that the 31 year old Southpaw was now focussing much more on the speaking and comedy engagements which could help him pay his bills.
The road to Tokyo
Recently he took to social media to announce that he was very much still active, and was setting his sights on representing Trinidad and Tobago in the 2020 Olympics.
He recently competed in the Trinidad & Tobago Nationals, making the final. There he won in impressive fashion when the referee stopped the contest in round two.
We asked Cam how the boxer he is now compared with the one fighting in 2016.
“Everyone would say they are physically and mentally stronger than they used to be,” he says “but I’ll be honest. Physically I’m about the same. I’ve healed some injuries that I had before and my knees are a lot healthier. I almost never make a noise when getting up now (life of an athlete). But mentally, I’m a lot stronger. I’m not constantly worried about a career after sports. All in all…I’m in a good place.”
There’s been no doubt that the muscular and energetic fighter has raised a few eyebrows in the past when it’s been revealed that he’s a vegan, although things may be different in today’s climate in the wake of The Game Changers. Ironically the film features heavily Bryant Jennings, a vegan professional heavyweight title contender who has fought Cam for the US Golden Gloves title and the National P.A.L tournament.
“I was lucky enough to run into Bryant Jennings when he wasn’t a very experienced boxer” says Cam. “When we fought in 2009 and 2010 neither of us were vegans. We both went on to following a plant-based diet and found much success in the sport. Jennings has improved so much as a boxer. He used me as a sparring partner for one of his fights against a southpaw a few years ago.
“I can say that Jennings wasn’t 1/10th of the boxer he is today. I’m super proud of everything my homie has accomplished in boxing!”
Cam’s announcement to the ring is great news for his fans, boxing fans in general – and for fans of vegan sportsmen, the coming months will not be easy. Aside from the training, Cam will receive no funding from the Olympic committee.
We’ll be following his efforts and bringing you updates.