Interviewing Muhammad Ali, having lunch with Manny Pacquiao and tracking down Deontay Wilder – it’s all in a day’s work for Dundee-born Gary Todd.
Growing up in St Mary’s, Gary never would have imagined that one day he’d get the chance to meet boxing legends such as Mike Tyson and Julio César Chávez, however after moving to Sydney in 1987 his life changed completely.
The former Rockwell High School pupil now has two international bestselling books on the sport of boxing, and has had the chance to travel to countries such as Japan, Canada, the Bahamas, Hong Kong and the USA.
He said: “I grew up in St Mary’s and if I’m honest I didn’t go to school a lot.
“I went to MacAlpine Primary School and I was at Rockwell for a year, but I dropped out to start working and earning some money.
“I got a job at the slaughterhouse, but after a while I felt like I couldn’t see a future for myself in Dundee, so I decided to do a bit of travelling.
“I went to Australia on a visa and loved it so much I decided to stay.
“My wife Jenny came with me and we got married and started a family here.”
The boxing fanatic decided to join a local gym near his new home in Sydney, and soon found himself interviewing some of boxing’s greatest legends for a book on all the different workouts used in the sport.
He said: “I’ve always been passionate about the sport, so I joined the gym.
“I started training there and I made some connections and pals, then I kind of slipped into writing my book.”
Throughout the course of writing his workout book, Gary has travelled across the globe, getting interviews and pictures with over 100 boxing champions.
However, it hasn’t all been a walk in the park for the father of three.
He said: “One time, a bodyguard threatened to shoot me.
“I was talking to Marvin Hagler, who’s actually my favourite boxer of all time.
“His bodyguard was annoying me and getting in the way and we started arguing.
“He threatened to take me outside and shoot me, and Marvin Hagler just had to stand between us.”
Gary, whose day job is as a director at a construction company in Australia, has gained a large amount of fame and respect in the boxing community for his work.
He has produced two books, Workouts from Boxing’s Greatest Champs Volume 1 and 2, which have been popular among fans of the sport.
The 54-year-old has been invited to watch Deontay Wilder’s fight against Tyson Fury later this month in Nevada, and plans to continue his work interviewing the biggest names in the sport.
He said: “I’m a family man, I’m a construction worker, and I’ve got a passion in life which is boxing.
“I’ve been into it since I was 11 years old, when the first Rocky film came out in cinemas.
“It took me around 10 years to finish my first book, and I went all over the world.
“I saved up my money and frequent flyer miles, flying all over the world economy class.
“In two weeks, I’m planning to fly to Las Vegas to watch the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder fight as part a member on a press accreditation.”
He also confessed that his thick Dundonian accent does present a bit of a challenge at times, saying: “I do get some comments on it. You’ve just got to try and talk a wee bit posher sometimes.”