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Shot, stabbed and a father at 13 - boxer Dillian Whyte on turning his life around

British heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte has fought for everything in his life, with the outspoken fighter saying he was heading down a dark path until boxing saved his life.

Whyte will be facing off with Kiwi fighter Joseph Parker this Sunday NZ time at London's O2 Arena, with winner moving one step closer to a title shot.

1 NEWS Europe Correspondent Joy Reid spoke with the British heavyweight. Source: 1 NEWS

The 30-year-old told 1 NEWS that moving from Jamaica to England was a tough transition.

"You know I was born in Jamaica, suffered a lot and been through a lot of hardships. Came here (England) suffered a lot of hardships, made a lot of wrong choices," said Whyte.

"Suffered a lot here, one thing led to another - I finally decided to fight in combat sports, started training and it just turned my life around."

The two fighters came face to face ahead of Sunday's heavyweight clash in London. Source: 1 NEWS

Whyte said he had to grow up quick after having a child as a teenager.

"I was a dad at 13-years-old so I have been looking after kids and I had to rush my mental state, growing up a lot faster.

"When you become a dad it changes everything, where most kids were running around I'm working two jobs and doing other things to get money to feed my children," he said.

"I'm trying to win these fights so my kids have a good life and make sure they don't have to struggle the way I struggled.

"It (boxing) saved my life you know, a lot of kids like me – a lot of kids that grew up with me are either dead or in prison for a long time."

Whyte admitted that he knew if continued going down the wrong path he could end up locked behind bars.

The Duco and Matchroom bosses renewed their unique relationship this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

"I was meant to be one of them kids and that was what was written for me in the books, but thank God I found something that I like doing and descent at it and I have gotten better and better.

"It's definitely saved my life, it has taken me off the street, given me direction and shown me I can actually rise up and inspire people from similar backgrounds and other backgrounds."

Whyte said he wasn't trying to get under his rival's skin when calling him (Parker) a "coward."

"There hasen't been any smack talking, I just say what I believe is fact. I believe he didn't take enough risks in the biggest fight of his career to get the win.

"That's just facts, that is not smack talking."

The British heavyweight said he fights to give his children a better life than he had growing up. Source: 1 NEWS

Parker and Whyte share similar professional records with the Kiwi winning 24 fights with only one loss, with Whyte winning 23 professional bouts with one loss to WBO, IBF and WBA champion Joshua in 2015.

The British heavyweight said he fights to give his children a better life than he had growing up. Source: 1 NEWS