THE last year could have been so very different for Taunton boxer Pawel August.

So many careers have stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and for a while it looked like August’s fighting career would go the same way.

He captured the Southern Area crown by defeating Jordan Joseph in March 2020 - his 11th straight win - but then everything stopped.

“I won the Southern Area title and I was so happy, I was over the moon,” he told the County Gazette.

“I felt that things were about to start for me - more opportunities and bigger fights.

“I had two weeks off, went to Poland to see my Nan, then I came back and a week after we were in lockdown.

“I was pretty upset, as I felt my career was about to kick on, and it looked like I might not be able to fight again until 2021.”

August lost two of his sponsors and, unable to train or compete, he put on some weight.

“I felt a little bit down, a little bit depressed,” he said.

Thankfully for him, a phone call arrived that changed his life.

“In mid-April, I was lying on my bed, when Chris Sanigar [August’s manager] rang me and said that I could be signed by Frank Warren.

“I jumped up and went for a run!

“That was instant motivation for me to get fit at home, training with whatever I had.”

With the potential to be signed by Warren’s Queensberry Promotions - which manages the likes of Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton - the desire to train again was clear.

Professional athletes were permitted to resume training by the UK government in May 2020, and two of August’s sponsors - Tom Morton (Activate Fitness) and Russell Baker (Brendon Roofing) - enabled him to use their facilities.

By September he was able to travel to Poland for a training camp, and it was while he was there that he found out he would be fighting Dariusz Sek for the WBC silver light heavyweight title in November.

Once back in England, his contract with Queensberry was confirmed, and with the promise of fighting on TV, some new sponsors came on board.

“It’s been a hard year for all professional boxers, and I was lucky to get my contract - though I know that I have worked hard for it,” August said.

“Frank Warren is a big name, and I knew that big opportunities would be coming, so I could push my career on, with fights in England and Poland.”

A dominant victory over Sek secured him the WBC belt, and extended his winning streak to 12 fights, in front of the TV cameras.

British boxing is to resume in February, and August is back in full-time training.

“I am currently training for another fight, and hope for news on that by the end of February,” he said.

“It’s been a dream year for me, but I know that it’s been the opposite for so many people, and so hard.”

August wishes to thank his team - Chris Sanigar (manager), David Entwistle (coach), Lukasz Kleban (personal trainer) and Beverley Hunter (sports therapist) - and also his sponsors - DSG Close Protection, Growth Technology, Intense Nutrients, Brendon Roofing, Animal Microchips and P&P Auto Services.