Jerry 'Slugger' Forrest has revealed how he cheated death as a baby.
His family were even told to order a coffin after doctors said he had little chance of survival.
Forrest was a fighter as a baby who now shows spirit in the ring and faces unbeaten Heavyweight prospect Jermain Franklin in Tacoma, Washington on Friday 12th July, live on BoxNation.
He has won 25 of his 27 fights and knocked out 19 of his opponents, although his nickname, ’Slugger’, doesn’t come because of his punching prowess.
“Slugger is not really a nickname,” Forrest said. “My entire family calls me ‘slugger’ because I almost passed away when I was born.
“My mum had blood poisoning and had to have transfusions. They told my parents to go ahead and get a casket prepared for me.
“My mum told me, ‘you got to fight, slugger.’ Shortly after that, I opened my eyes for the first time.”
Forrest has won 18 consecutive fights since back-to-back defeats against Gerald Washington and Michael Hunter.
Despite a winning run that began in March 2015 he will be taking a step up in class when he meets Franklin who has won all 18 fights.
“Honestly, it’s kind of like the first chance for people to see what I’ve already been doing for years,” Forrest added.
“The only difference is the cameras. It’ll still be my fight. Just the world gets to see it. I can’t wait to show on a national scale what I was capable of.”
Trainer Anthony Chase has kept him busy this year. Forrest has already boxed four times, stopping Lamont Capers and Jaudiel Zepeda before being taken the eight round distance by Grover Young and Joshua Tufte.
He added: “I’m in fantastic shape and training is going well. I do two or three workouts a day. I’m working on my recovery time a bit more, but I haven’t changed the way I do things. I don’t change the process if it works. I just do more.
“I’m going to outbox him until I stop him. He can’t outbox me. I don’t think he has the skills, power, stamina, accuracy or boxing IQ to stand with me.
“It’s not a real planned style of his. I don’t think he thinks much in the ring. If you’re in better shape as a Heavyweight, you will win the fight.
“I’m sure he’s training a bit harder, but he didn’t take his last fight seriously and he got hit with a lot of flush shots.
“I’m a power puncher. I have 19 KOs and a lot of them are in the early rounds. I’m good at seeing punches and being able to avoid them.
“I’m also very adaptive in the ring and even though he’s taller, his reach is shorter than mine. A lot of guys get thrown up really fast and they’re not ready for it. This is one of those cases. I will stop him.”