I’m making a comeback – and support from QPR fans would mean a lot

Mark Prince, father of Kiyan Prince, was a leading British boxer in the 1990s and challenged for the world light-heavyweight title. He recently announced he will be returning to the ring and will fight at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on 4 October.


I’m really pleased to have been asked to write for West London Sport.

As many of you will know, I am the founder of the Kiyan Prince Foundation, which came about in the aftermath of my son Kiyan’s death in 2006.

Next month I will be returning to the ring for the first time since retiring due to injury in 1998.

York Hall will be hosting my comeback on a ‘Night of Champions’ event in Bethnal Green.

For me my boxing comeback is a chance to bring to the forefront the kind of issues – and the frustrations – I have encountered since losing my son.

I know all about the struggles of growing up on the streets. Between the ages of 16 and 21 I lived a disorganised street-life. I was basically what you’d call a roadman.

I was drinking, smoking and doing all sorts of criminal activities to make money for myself.

But it got to the stage when I was 22 and had to face up to my responsibilities.

I already had two children then and I asked myself what kind of example I was setting them if I carried on the way I was going.

So I re-evaluated my life. I wanted to make a difference and be a success, but most importantly make my kids proud of the person I was, so they could look up to me as a role model.

My beliefs and mindset changed and I became a different person, a better person, and went on a journey that helped me build into a man of substance and discipline.

That paved the way for the start of my boxing career. My dad had always encouraged me to spar with him but up until this point I hadn’t taken him up on his offer.

Kiyan Prince at QPR
Kiyan was rated highly by QPR.

So I started training with him and it went from there really!

I had just four standard fights in my amateur career with Tottenham Enterprise before being thrown straight in the deep end when I was put into the ABAs. I was essentially fast-tracked during my whole boxing career.

I had 19 wins (15 by KO) as a professional and just a single defeat, which came when I travelled to Germany to challenge for the world title.

Since my retirement I have been actively involved with youth work, helping disadvantaged youngsters by coaching and mentoring them.

Kiyan used to help deliver these programmes with me and I loved him being around. His input was excellent.

Then everything changed. I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was 18 May 2006. Kiyan was stabbed to death outside his school in Edgware.

In the aftermath I was consumed with anger and rage that someone could be so evil and cruel to take away my son’s life.

He was just 15 and had his whole life in front of him. He would have been 23 this November and believe me he would have been a star.

QPR had big plans for him and he would have made it right to the very top. He would have played for England.

I was in a terrible place after my son’s death but I turned to God and that’s such a pivotal part of my story.

I began to feel like there was something I had to do in all of this, and the only way to make a difference was to do something different.

I didn’t want any other parents to feel the pain and devastation my family and me had to endure after Kiyan’s tragic passing.

I believed by educating young people about the devastating consequences of knife crime, the lives of many potential victims would be saved. I had become the accidental figurehead in the fight against knife and gun crime in the United Kingdom.

When people ask me to appear on national television after yet another teenage tragedy, bringing back the pain of Kiyan’s death, no-one is listening to my solution.

This is something which really frustrates me. I’ve have called for change before and yet nothing happens. Time after time we are seeing youngsters murdered on our streets.

We need to invest into the young people who are the men and women of tomorrow, but no-one seems to want to listen or care for our future generation.

Everyone will probably be thinking ‘what is he doing back in the ring at the age of 44?’ so I’ll tell you why I’m doing it.

My boxing return ensures I am in a place where I have a voice, and I will use that voice for all the right reasons – it’s selfless and not selfish.

My victories and performances will enable me to get that camera on me to talk about what matters to me and that is young people’s lives and their future. And to show that it matters, I’ve got to lead by example.

It will send out the message that I will not be ignored and I won’t go away, resulting in funds being raised and resources for the Kiyan Prince Foundation.

People say to me I’ve done great with the Foundation, but the support and help that I’ve gathered since it has been founded hasn’t been enough to enable the organisation to get where it needs to be, largely because funding has not been easy to secure.

We need a building. We need a base. We need to get to a place where we can make a bigger difference to the lives of young people – not just one or two and get a pat on the back for it.

My whole reason for getting back into boxing is that there has to be a link with what I’m doing with the Foundation.

This isn’t about me, this is about how I can be used to impact other people’s lives after the tragedy of Kiyan.

God is using me as a tool, not to bring glory or honour to myself, but to help other people in their lives and unify communities and organisations to resolve the problem of knife crime.

I believe I can reach my goals and impact lives in a powerful way, on a far wider scale than ever before.

I want the Foundation to be a flagship place where young people can develop themselves to be a great individual.

So, on the night of 4 October, I’ll enter the ring in QPR colours and feel deeply proud to represent the club that not only means so much to me, but to my dear son Kiyan.

And it would mean the absolute world to me to see you Rangers fans coming out in force to support me that night, it really would.

On that note, I like to express my gratitude to everyone connected to QPR, who have shown so much support towards me in the build-up to my fight. Thank you all – it means a lot!

God bless. And come on you R’s!




Tickets for Mark Prince’s boxing comeback are priced at £35 (standard seating) and £60 (ringside).

Contact Mark directly for tickets on 07446 320593 or his manager Champagne Jay on 07427 131850. All funds from ticket sales will help the Kiyan Prince Foundation.

You can follow Mark on Facebook and Twitter (@markno1prince) in the build-up to the big night.



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