The door’s been slammed in our face more times than I could remember.

Has it been deflating at times? Absolutely. For my whole life, I’ve been forced to sacrifice valuable time with family and friends, to chase a teenage dream of becoming a world champion boxer.

Even in the ring, you’re forced to sacrifice your long-term health all for the glory of having your hand raised in victory and your name shouted in triumph by the ring announcer.

Those early morning wake-ups, round-the-clock dieting and constant hours spent punching the bag, all in a bid to walk into the ring to perform at your absolute best.

And it isn’t easy. For obvious reasons, otherwise everyone would be doing it.

The early wake-ups wear thin real quick; some days you just don’t want to get out of bed and you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this for?”

Through all the knock-backs and “no’s” I’ve had in life, I’ve never lost faith in my vision.

Even when I walk out towards the ring, I visualise that I’ll one day be fighting in front of 50,000 people, instead of the usual 2,000 that often fill the corridors of Melbourne’s community centre.

I’ve always just held that dream, always held that focus and just never lost faith regardless of how many times the doors been closed in my face.

It’s a tough gig and it’s a very lonely sport – you’re running by yourself in the street every morning. No one is able to carry the load or do the work for you.

Unlike playing in a footy team, you can have a bad day and your team can still win the game because you know there are 21 other players that can pick you up and carry the team to a victory.

So everyday, you have to motivate yourself and never lose sight of your end game and the reasons for why you’re doing it.

For me, it’s all about giving back to my family and those around me, who have sacrificed in their own way to help me get to where I am today – a WBA ranked professional boxer who is teething on the verge of breaking into the top ten in the Super Welterweight division.

If I quit now I can’t better someone else’s lives and help others and give back, because there are people out there who can’t do what I could do. Like man, I wake up in the morning and tell my Mum, ‘Shit, Mum, I’m having a bad day’ but then I remind myself there are people who can’t walk or can’t use their arms or are blind and are much worse off than I am.

So I just hold on to that vision and tell myself just keep going one more day and keep pushing forward, I’m getting closer and closer each day. I have to believe that it is not about will it happen but rather when it happen.

Mum’s always been in my corner, ever since I dropped the bombshell to her that I was walking away from high school to chase the dream of one day becoming a world champion boxer.

I’m a Melbourne boy and I had a good childhood. I was a street kid, who had a lot of friends. I played local footy and enjoyed life to the fullest. And then I just one day, when I was 12, I said to my Mum, “I want to be a world champion” and it just started with a big joke and no one really took it seriously.

When I was 16 I came home from school one day and told Mum I had some news for her, I knew she wouldn’t be happy about it.

School and me never got along – I loved recess and the lunch period where I would have a chance to play around with my mates, but sitting in a classroom and having to take notes from a whiteboard never sat well with me. It just wasn’t for me.

So that afternoon, when I came home from school, I told Mum I was dropping out and making a decision to go into boxing full-time.

It was the last thing Mum wanted to hear. Financially it was hard and I didn’t have much support from my immediate or extended family at first.

My parents were against it because obviously they wanted me to stay in school, go to Uni and get a Bachelors Degree, but like I said I really didn’t want to do that.

My goal was to be world champion in life – it’s been tough man, it’s been very, very tough. But that was the decision I made and I have had no regrets since, despite the hardships that I’ve had to overcome.

I’m rising through the ranks in the WBA and I’ve always said my best fight is my next fight. There is one fight I am out to lock down and that’s Anthony Mundine. It’s a fight I’ve wanted since I was 15 years old.

I remember sending him a message when I was 17 years old, you know saying I was a big fan, one day I will fight you and you know he replied back, ‘Oh I appreciate the support, all the best of your career. Hope to see you down the road”.

It would be a full-circle moment if we’re able to make this fight happen. I know his camp have come out and said they want the fight, I’ve answered the challenge, so I’m hoping we can get the paperwork done and give the people a real show.

Like I said, I’ve always wanted to fight him and now I get the chance to put my name in the hat. The greatest respect I could have for Mundine, is to force him into retirement for a final time. He is a big reason for why I am doing what I am doing and if I could take the baton from him and run it from here, it’d be a dream come true.

I know he has polarised a nation, but you have to respect what he has done for boxing in Australia.

However, while he has enjoyed playing the role of the villain, I want to be a champion Australia can be proud of.

I want to be known as a fighter who hasn’t knocked back anyone, never took a backward step from everybody and I’ve proven that by going over to three countries and fighting three of the best fighters in the world, pound for pound.

I want to be the best boxer, pound for pound, in Australia and a guy our nation doesn’t just want, but need in the fight game.

I’m ranked 12th in the WBA circuit and I’ve torn basically anyone that has stood in front of me. I’ve never shy’d away from anybody. You can’t call yourself a fighter but then knock back fights to pick and choose you know, I’ll fight anybody that’s in my way. My camp and I really believe in our body of work and know we can be the main event on boxing cards.

We’re here now and we’re not slowing down for no one.