Lincoln’s bare-handed boxer Nathan ‘The Nightmare’ Decastro has recovered from the darkest place of his life to be in his best shape ahead of the British title fight against Paul Hilz next month.
Nathan is now back in the ring and getting ready for his second unarmed boxing match. It comes after Lincoln’s first world champion boxer career of 100 amateur fights, as well as 16 undefeated professional fights and the WBU and WBF world titles.
His career and his boxing life fell apart in February of last year when he lost his license. He was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare condition that causes difficulty seeing at night and loss of peripheral vision, and was caught cheating on eye tests, forcing him to retire.
The 30-year-old got an unexpected opportunity for his first hand-to-hand fight against Romanian Conan Barbaru. He won the fight at Bolton Wanderer football stadium on March 27 of this year and is eager to return to the ring to face Paul Hilz at the O2 Arena in London on September 11.
Nathan said Lincolnite: “I had the impression that life was over (last year) and that I was over. I was in dire straits and suicidal. It wasn’t just my job, it was my career and then suddenly I was told I couldn’t fight anymore.
“I was offered an unexpected boxing match. I took the opportunity because I wanted to do something because boxing had always been my life.
“I trained hard and came in out of the blue and was physically messed up after the fight but felt like I was reliving the life I wanted and started training on time full.
“BKB (bare knuckle boxing) is the fastest growing combat sport on the planet. It hurts more, but I have the same buzz and I have to be smarter on my feet.
“I now feel good and strong. I had the best training camp I have had in a long time and I have a good team around me. A few hundred fans come to Lincoln to support me.
“I just want to thank everyone for their incredible support throughout my dark and good times. They helped my return from depression and I will always be grateful.
“I want to thank all of my fans who make the trip to London, as well as my team and sponsors – Craig Barton (nutrition and wellness), Sam Vickers (strength and conditioning trainer), Healthy Foodhouse, my father, Gaughan Electrical Services Ltd, Garden Gains Ltd and JS Tailoring.
Nathan’s fight with Paul Hilz will be the co-main fight behind Gainsborough’s Ricardo Franco, whose Jimmy Sweeney fight is headlining.
Tickets for the fight are still available online here with the code Ndecastro or by calling Daniel Roberts on 07742 490839. Tickets are priced at £ 50 for the fight and £ 20 for anyone wishing to get on the fan coaches .
Like my @ bkb_official1 The UK title is looming, it would be great if the local press could support me and publish a story about my trip and an overview of professional and legal barehand boxing! Some people have the wrong impression, it is a well managed and professional sport! pic.twitter.com/N7Uo8ED5uR
– Nathan Decastro (@Nathan_Decastro) August 19, 2021
It’s not about dedicating myself to a 10 week training camp, this fight is about dedicating my life to fighting!
I have fought in adversity and handicap all my life, three weeks tomorrow is a huge fight for me, I will become the British barehanded boxing champion! pic.twitter.com/kfpQDk647K
– Nathan Decastro (@Nathan_Decastro) August 20, 2021
On Bracebridge Boxing Club and owner Denny Oliver, Nathan added, “This place has kept me on the right track and also out of jail when times got tough.
“Denny has been a father figure to me and many others, and has made professional champions ever since.”
His father and head coach Frank Decastro will be in his corner for his fight and said: “For what he has accomplished in boxing, I take my hat off to him. He lived his childhood dream and proved that if you want something you can do it and I am very proud of him. It’s a father’s dream because I love sports and I saw him achieve his dream.
“Denny has done so much for Nathan and for Lincolnshire, teaching people combat, honesty, trust and integrity. There is so much respect for him from me, Nathan and the others in town. .
Nathan, who took over Tudor Building & Roofing Services Limited from his father two years ago, has been training at the Bracebridge Boxing Club since he was eight.
Denny Oliver, who opened the club in 1976, has seen him grow into the fighter he is today.
Denny said: “He’s got Bracebridge all through his body and is one of our best fighters and ambassadors ever, I can’t fault the kid a thing.
“I’m worried (about the fight), but I know he will do his best and I’m still confident he will do well.”
After retiring from boxing, Nathan also began training to train the next generation of young fighters, including 13-year-old Travis Dunwell and Hayden.
He is focused on his upcoming fights and said Lincolnite that 2022 will be his last and 20th year in the ring. Before that, he dreams of having an unarmed boxing fight at Lincoln’s LNER Stadium.
Nathan has one last message before his fight and said: “A disability doesn’t mean you are unable to achieve your dreams, my story proves it.”