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Exclusive: Cam F. Awesome talks CounterPunch, Olympic struggles

Joe Hewlett 28/06/2017

Cam F. Awesome is one of the stars in the new sensational Netflix film Counterpunch. The film, directed by Jay Bulger, is based on a true story which documents the life of several boxers in their journey and struggles making it to the top.

Formerly known as Lenroy Thompson, Awesome’s story goes back some time. The film follows his mission to qualify to the Olympics in Brazil to realise his dream of representing USA.

Despite winning his bouts in the U.S Olympic trials, Counterpunch leaves you with a broken heart as the story ends with Awesome falling at the final hurdle.

The three-time Golden Glove winner admits he was pleased with the portrayal of himself after the release of Counterpunch.

“I got to watch it for the first time at the L.A. festival and it was weird because I was in a room and I had people watching me, watch me, be me, it was awkward. But overall, it was a pretty cool experience,” Awesome exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I felt important for a bit, like a superstar – It was short-lived,” he then laughed.

“I was portrayed as myself. I’m a pretty genuine guy but I don’t let people see it too often, I’ve never been that open but they took all the genuine parts of me and made a great film.

“Jay did an amazing job on it and I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from it and the film came at the right time in my life I needed that.”

The film included the political side of boxing, outlining the reasoning for America’s failings in recent Olympics.

Awesome believes the problem occurs with the lack of money invested towards the amateurs, meaning they more than often decide to turn professional to bank in some short-term income.

“USA has more talent than any other country but we don’t have the experience that others have. Our team don’t make the money other countries earn – the likes of GB and Ireland.

“These athletes are getting paid so there’s no need to turn pro, whilst here is an inner-city sport so these poor kids are barely supporting their selves when they do box for our country.

“They turn 18 and someone says, ‘Hey, fancy fighting turning pro for $1000?’ And they say, ‘yeah.’ Until this issue is addressed, we won’t win medals before we get paid.”


INSPIRATION

Despite not fulfilling a life-long ambition, the film provides a glimmer of hope and inspiration to all those hoping to achieve greatness.

Awesome’s character was reflected in charisma, sheer determination and passion – excellently by the direction of Bulger.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95