Hackney Boxing Academy behaviour mentor and professional boxer Daniel Mendes has released a book of poems to help people struggling with their mental health.

The 35-year-old, who now resides in Ilford, was born in Birmingham and began competing as an amateur boxer in Stoke-on-Trent and London before turning professional.

Mendes has had 13 bouts, winning 11 of those, and suffering just two defeats but he credits writing poetry, as well as boxing, for getting him to where he is.

The book contains poems, and the stories behind them, from when he was aged 19 to the present day.

Ham & High: Boxer Daniel Mendes has released a book of poemsBoxer Daniel Mendes has released a book of poems (Image: Daniel Mendes)

“I wanted to reach as many people as possible there is a lot of things I talk about in the book that are sensitive topics and to have that come from someone who is a professional boxer and who is involved in a macho sport if you want to call it that to share my sensitive side I hope it will allow people to think it’s ok," he said

“You can work through it and there can be light at the end of the tunnel.”

He added: “I originally just started writing when I was 16 and it was more of a therapeutic thing just to vent as I didn’t really have many friends at the time then it just became a go to thing for me to do.

“Over the years I wrote probably over 100 and I thought it would be nice to share the things that I did end up fearing that were around me.

“I thought if I could reach out to more people it would be ideal.”

He said boxing has also taught him a lot and that with the two he has learnt to deal with his own issues along the way.

“I mean the thing with boxing is it taught me discipline and helped me increase my confidence and it also gave me some routine as well as a purpose of waking up and having something to do.

“It helps me vent physically and verbally.”

The pandemic has been hard on sport and Mendes reveals what it has been like for him personally.

“It’s been challenging just to maintain a decent level of fitness because if I was to not train because there is no boxing then It would probably be impossible for me to regain that level of fitness.

“I’ve just been ticking over and it gave me time to complete the book in the first lockdown so it’s been very productive and I've tried to stay busy.

“I was offered a fight in September, but they gave me seven days notice and my opponent had three or four months notice so I didn’t think it was worth stepping into the ring knowing that I’m not in tip top shape.”

T.I.S.S.U.E.S A Book of Life and poetry is available from Amazon.