06/11/19

Challenger is the perfect sparring partner for former soldier Michael

Michael Lewis in the Boxing Ring

A former soldier who lost his leg while on duty in Afghanistan is gearing up for a new battle in the boxing ring with the help of Ottobock’s dynamic sports blade, the Challenger.

Michael Lewis, 35, from Northampton, sustained life-changing injuries in 2008 while on duty with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment during an intense fire-fight with the Taliban. 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.

Since the incident, Michael has had extensive support from both Blesma, the Limbless Veterans’ charity, and the Royal British Legion — and now he wants to give back. He now works as a community fundraiser across Bedfordshire for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, and has also taken part in charity races and mud runs for both causes.

Having got the Challenger for his mud run last year — as it was more dynamic and capable of tackling the obstacles throughout the event — Michael has since turned his attentions to taking part in charity boxing matches, and found the prosthetic blade to be the perfect sparring partner.

The Challenger is different to a conventional blade because it’s designed not to assist with propulsion going forwards but to help with springing upwards and moving dynamically. It’s ideal for court sports such as basketball and tennis because it allows the wearer to stop and change direction quickly.

“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,” he said. “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, taking on an able-bodied opponent and is now, with the help of his trainer Lee Edwards, preparing for his next bout in July. This time he’s raising funds for the Royal British Legion.

He 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.”

To sponsor Michael, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-lewis50

For more information on the Challenger, and Ottobock’s range of products, visit www.ottobock.co.uk