A former soldier from Northampton who lost his leg while on duty in Afghanistan is gearing up for a new battle - by stepping into the boxing ring for charity.
Michael Lewis sustained life-changing injuries in 2008 while on duty with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment during an intense firefight with the Taliban.
But now the 35-year-old is set to spring into action again for a charity match as part of a Contender White Collar Boxing event coming to Northampton on July 6.
He is training six days a week in the lead up to the big fight and he hopes to inspire others to take up new challenges just as he has done since leaving the service.
Michael said: "Taking part in the Contender White Collar Boxing is a way of giving back to such a great organisation as the Royal British Legion which supported me with my transition into civilian life, as well as proving anything is possible no matter what you’re ability."
Michael, then a corporal, was hit by a British artillery 105mm round, losing his right leg below the knee at the scene and requiring more than 30
operations back in the UK to try to save his left arm.
Now, with the help of a specialised sports blade called an Ottobock "Challenger", Michael will take on the charity boxing match and has found the prosthetic blade to be the perfect sparring partner.
Michael said: "I found my everyday leg was too heavy and clumsy for boxing so I thought I’d give the Challenger a go and it’s brilliant.
"It’s lightweight, responsive to the way I have to move around the boxing ring and so I don’t have to overcompensate. I can think about my boxing and not worry about being thrown off balance.”
Michael has already competed in one Contender White Collar Boxing night in aid of Blesma, and in recent years has even conquered two mud runs and the Royal Parks Half Marathon.
Michael said: "The boxing challenge has to be one of the hardest things I have trained for, but I want to promote the Legion for what it is, showing that donations really do help individuals like myself and all those within the Armed Forces community including families.”
Michael will step into the ring at the Contender White Collar Boxing Match at the Bunyan Sports Centre, in Bedford, between 5.30pm and midnight.
To sponsor Michael, visit his JustGiving page.