Huddersfield boxer Fes Batista is reinventing himself in the world of ‘influencer boxing.’
Fes, 33, hasn’t had a competitive fight since 2018 but he’s now signed up with Misfits Boxing, created by YouTube star KSI.
Fes, who hails from Crosland Moor, has been given a bout on the Misfits event at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on January 20.
Since his last fight in 2018, Fes has been on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. He was – and still is – coached by American boxing legend Roy Jones Jnr and had a spell based in the United States.
He had injuries and health problems either side of the Covid pandemic shutdown and when he finally got a fight in Alabama on St George’s Day in April 2022, he was left disappointed when his opponent failed to turn up.
Now he’s fit and ready to resume his fighting career in the new arena of ‘influencer’ or ‘crossover’ boxing where social media influencers and professional or retired boxers get in the ring for four-round contests.
Fes is taking on Ben Williams, an eight-times amateur champion from Dublin, who became an overnight sensation on TikTok when he made a prank video that had 22 million hits.
Fes, who has been an anti-bullying campaigner for the World Boxing Council for 10 years, said he wanted to put Huddersfield on the world map and help inspire young people to be the best they could be.
“I’ve always been an influencer without really knowing it,” said Fes. “I have been signed up with KSI, one of the biggest stars on the planet, and if I can do it – a kid from Crosland Moor – so can anyone.
“Influencer boxing means anyone can be on Misfits. Make a TikTok video. Be creative. There are no limits. I am on a global stage now. I want to be a trailblazer from Huddersfield.”
Fes is a big Huddersfield Town fan and still harbours hopes of a fight at the John Smith’s Stadium one day.
He’s known as Fes ‘The Terrier’ Batista and usually takes to the ring in blue and white striped shorts. However, he’ll be playing down his Town links for his Misfits debut so as not to upset Leeds United fans in the audience!
“I’m not a provocative guy and we have to be political and calm about it so I’ll be playing down my Huddersfield links a bit,” said Fes.
“But anyone who knows me knows that I’m proud of Huddersfield and I want to promote the town around the world.
“Misfits do shows in places like Brazil, Australia, Dubai and Canada and I think it’s Brazil in February so I’ll be campaigning to go there and showcase the Terrier spirit. It would be great to go on a world tour.”
Tickets for the Leeds event can be booked HERE