JOSH WARRINGTON revealed without boxing he could easily have fallen into the trap of 'nicking cars and sniffing glue'.
The featherweight, who just relinquished his IBF world title, is born and breed in Leeds while still a Whites season ticket holder.
After 48-amateur bouts Warrington turned pro in 2009 aged just 18.
And he revealed having the sweet science in his life from childhood helped him refrain from a life of crime or substance abuse.
Warrington, 30, told The High Performance Podcast: "From a young lad, as a kid growing up in Leeds on a council estate, it's easy to fall into what everyone else is doing.
"Knicking cars, sniffing glue, you know, smoking, drinking on a Friday night.
"And, why do you not want to do that? Everyone else is doing it? Why do you want to spend your time three times a week going to a boxing gym?
"Why don't you come play football with everyone else? As much as I would like to have played football, I just didn't have the talent."
Warrington was so dedicated to his craft while growing up he refused to drink alcohol and would run home after nights out.
It was all part of proving to his dad and trainer Sean O'Hagan that he determined to make a career out of boxing.
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Warrington revealed: "Walked into a boxing gym and played as an energetic kid. Seven years old, grew up in the nineties watching WWF.
"Just like anything as a kid, you go through fads.
"My old feller turned around to me and said, 'Don't waste time. You're wasting my time for me taking you to the gym. You're wasting the people who're looking after you in the gym, you're wasting their time.'
"He said, 'If you're gonna do it, don't do it. If you want to play with your mates, go fucking play with your mates.'
"If I was gonna be a boxer, then I was gonna be a boxer. I was dedicated to it then.
"At parties on a Friday night, instead of me taking a drink, I'd take a bottle of water. I'd take a bottle of Lucozade. I'd jog home.
"That was my mentality. I didn't want to be wasting anybody else's time."
Warrington, a former dental assistant, became world champion in his 27th fight, upsetting Welshman Lee Selby in 2017.
After three defences, including another career-defining win against Carl Frampton, the Yorkshire hero dropped the belt to pursue bigger fights.
Under promoter Eddie Hearn, Warrington is hoping to face America's WBC champion Gary Russell Jr or Japanese star Can Xu, owner of the WBA's secondary 'Regular' title.
Warrington, who has not boxed since beating Sofiane Takoucht in October, returns against Mexican Mauricio Lara on Saturday.
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