An obese boxer lost so much weight on a year-long fitness camp in Thailand he was detained by border guards on his way home — who didn’t believe he was the same person.
Ross Connor, 33, shed an impressive eight stone after he enrolled at the famed Muay Thai kick boxing gym in Phuket.
He slimmed down from 21 stone to a toned 13 stone but hit a big problem when he tried to leave the country.
Border guards detained him for questioning, convinced he could not be the same person they photographed on his arrival 12 months earlier.
Ross was given a grilling and only managed to negotiate his way onto a flight home after showing photographs on his iPod documenting his dramatic weight loss.
Relieved Ross, of Peterborough, Cambs. said: “It was a worrying moment.
“I knew I’d lost a lot of weight, but I never expected they wouldn’t let me on the plane.
“But when they showed me the image taken on my arrival, even I had trouble recognising myself.
“After all my hard work, I thought I wasn’t going to get home to show my family the result of my year of training.”
Thanks to a diet of daily takeaways, boxing fan Ross had put on so much weight he was having trouble walking and said he sounded like Darth Vader when he breathed.
He decided to take action in March last year and paid #6,000 upfront to enrol at the year-long boxing camp on the island paradise of Phuket.
For 12 months Ross worked out four hours a day in the blistering heat and humidity and by the end of the year had trimmed down from a hefty 21 stone to 13 stone.
He said: “I’d watch my idols boxing, and I thought to myself, if they can lose weight at a boxing camp before a fight – then so can I.
“I’d comfort eaten my way to obesity in such a short time and doctors told me if I carried on I wasn’t going to see 40.
“I thought I was in control, but before I knew it I was 21 stone and eating my way to an early grave.
“I ate takeaways every night and never exercised. I avoided meeting friends, and talking to girls. Getting a date was just unrealistic, so I just stopped caring.”
Speaking of his year-long slog, he added: “I wasn’t strict with my diet – I ate what I wanted – but the training regime was brutal.
“I was ultimately living in a gym and training 24/7.
“It wasn’t a fat camp. People came to get authentic Muay Thai training, so they were quite fit.
“I was the fattest one there, bottom of the class, so I had to work twice as hard to heave my 21 stone around the ring.”
When Ross entered Thailand his photograph was snapped and border guards also took a biometric image.
Guards didn’t believe he was the same person until he showed them a diary of photographs from his camp.
When they realised their mistake, they congratulated Ross and sent him on his way.
Ross said he is delighted with his knockout new look and plans to return to the Thai gym in June to put in another six months of training.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way it all worked out,” he added.