A fire safety and security engineer who topped 28 stone after bingeing on takeaways every night has transformed his life by shedding 11 stone and stepping into a boxing ring for charity. 

Ryan O’Leary admits he piled on the pounds through comfort eating and laziness – typically putting away a daily breakfast of sausage and bacon sandwiches, feasting on two supermarket meal deals for lunch, snacking on a cheeseburger as he drove home from work, before ordering takeaways of pizza, curry or Chinese for dinner, washed down with more snacks before bed. 

As the scales passed 28 stone, 29-year-old Ryan knew something had to drastically change. 

The Comet: At his heaviest, Ryan weighed 28 stone.At his heaviest, Ryan weighed 28 stone. (Image: Ultra Events)

With the support of his best friend, Shaun, Ryan was persuaded to step foot in a gym, as well as sign up to compete in Ultra White Collar Boxing in Stevenage – raising hundreds of pounds for homeless people at the same time.

After just one week of training in a room full of fellow novice boxers at Renegade Fitness Academy in Stevenage, he was hooked. 

Ryan said: "The training was hard – I have never sweated like that before in my life. They work you hard and you have to really push yourself, but taking part in Ultra White Collar Boxing was everything I needed in terms of improving my fitness and losing the weight. 

"Everyone in the room was there for a different reason – we were all different ages, shapes and sizes, but we quickly became friends. There was a really good camaraderie. Everyone got on well and supported each other. 

"My life has changed beyond recognition now. I eat much healthier, drink a lot of water and now I cook, whereas before I was just lazy."

The Comet: Ryan shed 11 stone training for the boxing event.Ryan shed 11 stone training for the boxing event. (Image: Ultra Events)

Ryan, who has also quit smoking, added: "Taking part in Ultra White Collar Boxing gave me that extra focus I needed. It gave me a goal and made me realise I was capable of more than I thought. My mental health has also improved 100 per cent. 

"The last time I went on the scales I was 16.8 stone and the boxing helped me achieve that. I’ve stopped weighing myself now, as I am happy and the gym has become a positive part of my life. I will always remember the day when I put on a size L shirt, rather than the 3XL I used to wear."

When Ryan stepped into the boxing ring, he was supported by more than 40 friends and his partner, Danielle.

The Comet: Ryan said he enjoyed the boxing event so much he's thinking about doing it again.Ryan said he enjoyed the boxing event so much he's thinking about doing it again. (Image: Ultra Events)

He said: "On the night, I was bricking it. I remember being in the car on the way to the event and hardly saying a word.

"I really enjoyed it, so much so I am thinking about doing it again. One of the things I really miss is the training twice a week. I’ve given myself a break, but now I am ready to get back in the gym."

Ryan has raised £455 for The Single Homeless Project in London to help provide shelter, showers and food for people sleeping rough.

Ultra White Collar Boxing offers participants eight weeks of free training in return for a pledge to raise a minimum of £50 for a charity of your choice. Events in Stevenage have so far raised more than £418,000 for charities. 

Registration is now open for Stevenage’s next Ultra White Collar Boxing event, which takes place on Saturday, July 13 at the Holiday Inn. Training will begin on May 20 at Renegade Fitness Academy. To sign up, visit ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/locations/stevenage.