From First Dates to stepping in the ring with a world no.1 ranked boxer, Team GB’s Jordan Reynolds briefly paused his meteoric rise to the top for a quick chat with Reality Titbit.
“Will this go up on like a webpage?” asks Jordan.
It’s an honest yet confusingly basic question.
“Yes,” I reply.
I explain that the article will go up online via our website and that it may get a few thousand hits – if we’re lucky.
I tell Jord that he can plug his Instagram and Twitter handle, sponsors, and add any special mention that may help with his boxing career.
Jordan replies with one simple word.
Jordan’s entire persona throughout our 20-minute chat echoes a man who is fixated on reaching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, he’s not going to reach out to the media with quotes and soundbites.
He’s not going to promo his social media account with videos of himself dabbing and doing the running man.
He’s not going to sugar-coat sponsors, plead to governing bodies or kiss the backside of anyone who offers him a bare cheek, telling him that it’s the only way to the top.
Jordan will reach the Olympics the only way he knows how to.
Through hard work.
First Dates Was Not Chapter One
The great British public took an instant shining to Jordan during his appearance on First Dates.
He was nothing like the 19-year-old’s we were accustomed to seeing on the show; unflinching, focused, gracious, ambitious and disciplined.
Sipping a cup of Twinnings English Breakfast Tea, Jordan spoke of character-defining morals, family-oriented values, a hard-working ethic and an honest love for his mother.
Yet, the road to forming this alarmingly well-rounded teenager was one of extreme hardship.
“One of my best mates got stabbed. That was the real eye-opener for me,” said Jordan, who was 15 years old at the time.
“You don’t realise what you’re involved in until it happens to you.”
Jordan found comfort in the four walls of a local gym, using them to shelter himself away from the dangerous gang that he had become involved with.
“I was always hanging out a lot of the wrong lads, messing around with 19 and 20-year-olds when I was just 15.
“There were always police at my door, stressing out my mum.”
Chapter One: Living in the Gym
The road to success started when Jordan’s mum marched up to his gym.
“My mum had a word with the owner and sorted me out a job at the gym, basically doing anything to help out,” said Jordan.
“I started off learning how to give pad work and got a basic understanding of boxing from watching.”
Sweeping floors, carrying in cases of boxing equipment and learning the sparring basics, Jord was no-longer on the streets causing trouble, he was working 10am-10pm shifts, six days per week, with an unforgiving gym routine sandwiched in-between.
Chapter Two: Entering the Ring
Jordan’s thirst to learn soon saw him move away from the handyman jobs and inside of the ring.
He was a natural.
The 17-year-old strolled to victory in his first two amateur fights and was promptly asked if he wanted to enter the biggest national boxing competition in England, the ABA Championship.
Jordan didn’t just enter, he reached the final.
“It was mad, I only had two fights under my belt and I was up against people who had fought 60 or 70 times,” said Jordan.
“I had about seven fights and beat these good kids – kids that had boxed for England – I got to the final and lost on points.”
“From then on I just thought, I’m onto something here.”
Chapter Three: Avoiding Gun Crime
Jordan and his family took a leap of faith when Jordan told his mum that he wanted to put all of his time and focus on boxing.
He wanted to join a prestigious boxing club in West Ham, who had produced nine ABA finalists in different weight categories that year.
Sacrifices were needed.
“We started selling things – anything – my mum was selling her gold jewellery and things like that for food and money so I could get the train,” said Jordan.
Within a few months, however, Jordan won his first national title as a welterweight.
Things were getting serious and Jord was advised to move out of his mum’s house, staying with a family that had been watching his progress at the boxing club.
“They (the family) could tell I was still a naughty kid, and having East London on my the doorstep I was always one step away from trouble,” said Jordan.
“I didn’t want to leave my mum but I ended up moving in with them in Essex.”
The move turned out to be a wise choice for Jordan, as his best friend was shot with a firearm at an East London house party.
“I had a phone call to go back home for a party at the weekend,” said Jordan.
“The only thing that put me off was all the travelling so I didn’t bother.”
“But I got a phone call at 4 am that night from my best mate Nathan, and he’d been shot in the back at the house party.”
“If I was there, it could have been me.”
“I feel like that move sort of saved me from a different life.”
Jordan recently moved back to his hometown Luton but spends his time offering career advice at schools rather than attending late night house parties.
From England captain to a place on the Team GB boxing squad, Jordan is quickly becoming an Olympic silverware contender.
His latest fight saw him step in on a two-day notice to face the no.1 ranked boxer in the amateur World Series of Boxing Competition, where he narrowly lost on points.
The only piece left in the jigsaw is for Jordan to step off the plane and touch down in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.
Known as Elvis by other members of the Team GB squad for his old-school fashion sense and uncontrollable dancing feet, we have no doubt that the Jailhouse Rock will get Jordan to where he deserves.