Father fights back tears after winning fight for 'miracle' daughter

Man holding trophy after winning boxing match and a baby girl

Troy Tobias, 28, celebrates after winning a boxing fight he had dedicated to his daughter Isla who survived a major operation when she was three weeks old. - Credit: Jasmine Tobias

A father who vowed to win a boxing match for his 'miracle' daughter was fighting back tears after winning the bout - the first time he had ever set foot in the squared circle. 

Troy Tobias, 28, dedicated his victory to his daughter Isla who, despite being given only a slim chance of survival before a major operation when she was three weeks old, is now less than two months away from celebrating her second birthday.

Mr Tobias, who lives on the old RAF base in Coltishall with his partner Jasmine and his daughter, took part in the white-collar boxing event to raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (NNUH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

"I was euphoric," he said on winning the fight at Epic Studios in Norwich on Saturday, July 23.


Troy and Jasmine Tobias have been raising money for Norfolk and Norwich Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where their daughter Isla spent the first five months of her life. - Credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias

There were three two-minute rounds. After his opponent won the first, Mr Tobias, a deck fitter at Oyster Yachts in Wroxham, bagged the second and third rounds, making him the winner.

The bout won also won a trophy for the best fight of the night.

"With what I was doing it for," Mr Tobias said, "and the amount of money I'd raised to do it, and having put in all the effort of 12 weeks, to win it at the end of it all I was fighting back tears, it was very emotional."

Isla spent the first five months of her life at the NICU after being born 16 weeks premature in September 2020. At the time she weighed just over a pound.

A premature baby in an incubator.

Isla Tobias weighed one pound and three and a half ounces when she was born in September 2020. - Credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias

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When she was three weeks old doctors told her parents she needed surgery for a gut and bowel perforation and that she had only a 10pc chance of surviving.

She did survive - and that was when her father made the pledge: "Isla won her fight, so now it's my turn to win one for her."

A baby girl with a teddy bear

Isla Tobias, who was given an eight to 10 percent chance of surviving an operation when she was three weeks old, is now only two months away from her second birthday. - Credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Tobias

Until the fight on July 23, Mr Tobias, who is a deck fitter at Oyster Yachts in Wroxham, had never boxed before. Preparation involved 12 weeks of training with Tower Fitness at the Sweet Briar Industrial Estate in Norwich.

Over that time, he has also raised almost £900 for NICU.

His partner Jasmine, 27, said: "It was an incredible night. He done ever so well."

To donate to Mr Tobias' fundraising efforts, visit his page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TTsboxingmatch