Why A Billionaire Entrepreneur Is Boxing A Former Heavyweight Champion

Aug 13, 2021
 Edited by the author — original image from Pixabay

What would you do if you were a billionaire? Joe Fournier has probably done it.

He’s dated world-famous stars like Paris Hilton.
He’s jumped on a private jet to see his friend Usher sing.
He cruises around Greek islands in his private yacht.

Yet I doubt you would agree to fight a former world heavyweight boxing champion in the ring. But Joe has agreed to do this too at 38 years old.

He isn’t your typical billionaire despite his fancy Instagram and even reveals:

“People don’t know the real me because it’s not interesting! People want to see hanging out with Usher. I enjoy my real life more. I made my bed and I will lie in it.”

Joe’s outlook on life is an insight into the harsh reality that all the money and fame in the world isn’t everything.


Belief like Ai Weiwei

Joe didn’t have it easy growing up, he was raised by his single mother and survived on government benefits. He was bullied relentlessly for being poor and his French-Italian background at school. Despite his current position, it’s sad to know no one would hang out with him after school.

When you think billionaire playboy, the last person who you think they’d relate to is the Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. Yet when he started collecting art, he felt an instant connection because they were both judged by everyone around them.

“Like Weiwei, I always knew, since I was a child, that I was going to make it, but I never knew how. He knew what he was going to do, he always had the vision and he wasn’t going to stop until he did it.”

This unwavering belief meant he became the captain of the England national basketball team and helped him earn millions playing for teams in the USA. His income from his sporting days gave him the initial capital to start his entrepreneurial journey.

It’s this same self-confidence that means he is happy to walk into the ring with a monster.


100 paid friends in Dubai won’t make you happy

Joe has seized every opportunity given to him in business. He started in the fitness industry then real estate and then onto nightclubs. He’s honest about why he made such a shift and it’s depressing.

Joe switched because he found it easier to convince people to get drunk than to get healthy.

He traded his principles for money and paid the price for it. In 2015, he had no resemblance to the man who was once a top athlete as the partying took its toll on him. His mental health had deteriorated despite the glamourous lifestyle.

“But this year in Dubai I threw a birthday party but was so lonely. Nobody really knew me. All my real mates were in England. I paid for 100 people to eat and drink but none of them cared about me. I felt alone.”

The boy who was bullied and poor was now rich and popular but it didn’t feel like it was meant to.

I can relate to Joe as someone who was shy and awkward as a teenager. I dreamt of being successful so I could live a life like Joe where I was adored. I guess Joe and I shared envy of those who had everything. I’m glad it didn’t take me to the excess it took Joe to.


Boxing the antidote to Joe’s depression

Luckily, one of Joe’s famous friends is the former world heavyweight champion, David Haye. Seeing how much Joe was struggling, David invited him to train in his boxing gym.

There was a total transformation. Within 14 months Joe was back to an elite level of fitness and had won nine professional fights. The training was brutal but this billionaire didn’t want to relax under the sun on his yacht anymore.

All the wealth in the world doesn’t matter if you’re head isn’t in the right place.

“Boxing is good for my mental health. Tyson Fury is a big advocate of this. It keeps me from drinking too much, keeps me healthy and gives me a goal.” — Joe Fournier

It might not be everyone’s choice to find happiness in their lives but that’s the point. What success means for you doesn’t have to look like Instagram or whatever everyone else thinks.

Joe went down the path of everything you see in the magazines and it didn’t work for him. Getting in the ring to prove his mate wrong gives him the spark to keep fighting in life.

You’re ambitious but make sure you choose the best lifestyle for you if things work out. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Amar's Letter

Real talk on driving impact as an imperfect human.