Fight for Peace boxer going all the way to the top

28/04/2017 – Wanderson de Oliveira, better known by his nickname, Sugar, began boxing at Fight for Peace in Rio as a twelve year old and, from the outset, he was recognised as a potential future champion. He quickly grew in confidence and composure, securing a string of victories as well as using his boxing ability to help support his family. The obstacles that this young fighter has faced and overcome are documented in the film Fighting For Peace, which follows the lives of Sugar and his fellow Fight for Peace boxer Douglas as they pursue their dreams through boxing.

Sugar’s skill and immense dedication saw him recently selected for the Brazilian national boxing team and he is currently in a training camp preparing to represent his country in Puerto Rico in May. Fight for Peace caught up with Sugar in São Paulo to get an insight into his life, his inspirations and his future dreams.

Fight for Peace: Sugar, when did you first realise you had a talent for boxing?

Sugar: I knew from the start that I loved boxing, but it wasn’t until eight months later, when I was on the way to São Paulo to fight in a competition, that I realised I was any good! I arrived at the competition and in my first fight there I won in the second round. It was then that I started to get motivated and started to train harder, knowing that I was evolving as a fighter.

FFP: After all the hard work and training, how did you feel when you were selected for the Brazilian national team?

S: I didn’t know what to say! I couldn’t speak, I was so happy, I couldn’t quite believe it. It was the best thing in the world. I was so happy to get the chance to represent Brazil, to show my potential and show everyone that I am here to win. I really hope I can win for Brazil, win for our country.

FFP: What impact has being part of Fight for Peace had on your life and your boxing career?

S: For me, Fight for Peace means opportunity. Fight for Peace is an unbelievable opportunity for those who get involved in the programme. I am so grateful to Fight for Peace for everything they have done, and are still doing for me. They are still helping me so much, supporting me. I am so grateful to everyone there. Through any hard times they have always been there for me. It really is my second home. If it wasn’t for Fight for Peace, I don’t even know. My life would be different, I am sure of that. I am truly grateful to everyone at Fight for Peace.

FFP: Who inspired you to become an elite boxer?

S: It would have to be Fight for Peace boxer Roberto (Custódio). I try to model myself on him, mainly because he’s been in the national side for so long! I’ve always wanted to get into the national team so I could be there alongside him. It’s annoying that once I got in, he had already left, but what can you do? He has done his bit, done his time, and I have to congratulate him on everything he has achieved. I hope I can achieve the same sort of success as he has.

FFP: At the moment, you’re in São Paulo training with the national boxing team. How is it going?

S: It’s going well. I’m settling in and getting used to the training. We train twice a day, morning and afternoon, and I’m training with one of the best trainers in Brazil! It’s hard, for sure, but I’m enjoying it, and I’m training hard to try and win medals outside of Brazil.