Cassius Ellis- Young’s boxing career was dramatically ended following a horrific savage attack which resulted in him being blinded.
TARA RUSSELL spoke to him about his new career ventures
LIFE could not get any better.
Cassius Ellis-Young was just 21 years old and dreamed of following in the footsteps of his idol Muhammad Ali.
He had been making waves in the local amateur boxing circuit winning nine out of 11 fights and was even compared to former world champion Prince Naseem Hamed.
But his world was shrouded in darkness in the early hours of a December morning two years ago.
He was enjoying a barbecue at a friend’s house and was sat lacing up his trainers on the stairs when he was savagely attacked.
Jordan Attwood plunged at Cassius and stabbed him in the eye with a carving fork. It caused an immediate retinal haemorrhage and blinded him.
It was that exact moment his dreams of a career in boxing were shattered and life would never be the same again as he adapted to life without the sight in one eye.
The court case was the next hurdle and his attacker Attwood was branded a “menace to society”when he was jailed for more than five years.
Cassius, now aged 23, described spiralling into a deep depression following the attack when his life was suddenly transformed from training in the gym six days a week to doing nothing at all.
He told the Daily Echo: “It felt like my life was over, my dreams were shattered and my life turned upside down. I had it all planned out and after the assault I felt gutted I would never box again. It was a big change.
“Hearing the doctor tell me I would never see out of that eye was the biggest blow I have had in my life. I was spaced out constantly and paranoid I would lose the sight in the other eye and become completely blind. I had to take anti-depressants to cope.
“I was depressed, devastated, suicidal.”
But remarkably Cassius, from Bitterne, Southampton, has turned his life around finding solace in music.
Ironically he was beginning to work on a track called Talk of the Town just before his attack when he was filmed sparring in the ring. It was the song he was planning to enter fights to.
And now he has used music as his therapy and has even produced a hip hop album from a small studio in Southampton city centre which has had thousands of downloads online.
Cassius, who notes his idols as 50 Cent and Chipmunk, said the assault has made him a stronger person and he is now looking forward to a successful 2013.
And he has now launched his own sports clothing brand this month with his brother Kane who is also a boxer.
The brand is called Bang & Awesome after the brothers’ boxing names Cassius Awesome Ellis- Young and Sugar Kane the Bang and will be on sale in Rescue skate board shop in Southampton with the brothers pledging to give 10 per cent from each item to save the tigers in India.
Cassius, said: “The music has helped me move on, forget about the attack and get on with life.
“2013 is looking good and the assault has given me the drive to be the best at this, be the best at something else other than boxing and it feels good.
“Now I am aiming for number one sportswear and a number one in the charts.”