The Boxing Locker in Hook

The Boxing Locker is a gym based in Hook run by the former undefeated pro Matthew Goddard.


The sport of boxing can be a cruel and unforgiving mistress for fighters but Odiham’s Matthew Goddard has been able to take his passion of pugilism and forge an incredible career in the sport through his training plans and Hook based gym The Boxing Locker.

The former undefeated professional lightweight boxer took time away from the ring to discuss with us his background in the sport, gym visions, health and fitness myths and love of Hook…


For readers who may not know, can you tell us about your boxing background and what made you start The Boxing Locker?

I started boxing at 11 years old under the tutelage of legend of British Boxing, Trevor Francis at Basingstoke Amateur Boxing Club. I won a national title, numerous victories and some great experiences before turning professional in 2011 and having my first professional fight in 2012. I had 7 fights unbeaten before medical issues forced my retirement.

I had already started my gym in Odiham working part time around training but in 2015 I went full time. The building I was working in got condemned in 2020 and I subsequently took over my current space in Hook. I believe it’s the best facility in the area and the training and knowledge I offer is second to none.


What made you stop boxing having built up a professional 7-0 record?

I am incredibly short sighted and struggled to get my medical clearance to box without the use of orthokeratology (overnight hard lenses). Due to an injury caused outside of boxing that damaged the tissue around my eye, I was no longer able to wear the lenses and subsequently no longer able to box. It was my ophthalmic surgeon’s recommendation that I retire.

What are the aims and ethos of The Boxing Locker?

To share the artistry, beauty and life-saving nature of the sport of boxing with the world.


What would you say have been some of your most memorable moments since starting The Boxing Locker?

Running free classes for 5-15 year olds for 12 months.

Training a bareknuckle champion for his world title fight.

Working with numerous young people to help them develop as boxers and as people.

It’s an incredibly rewarding job.


Based on your own experience, what would you say are some of the biggest myths in the health & fitness industry?

“I need to get fit first before I join the gym/join classes/have personal training” – there’s no level of fitness, experience or skill that I have not experienced. Most Personal Trainers and coaches are capable of working with you to progress from your current level no matter what the starting point is. It’s often easier to work with clients from the outset so you can instil good habits and exercise practice to reduce risk of injury and maximise potential for success.


Are you currently looking for members and if so, how can interested readers enquire to find out more?

I am always open for new clients for 1-1 though availability is limited and sessions are snatched up fast. Classes are all thriving and bustling but there’s space for new people to join the community. You can find me at “The Boxing Locker” on all social media platforms and contact me on any of them for more information on the wide array of training options I have to offer for all age ranges, experience levels and fitness levels.


What has been some of the best feedback you have had on your sessions through The Boxing Locker?

My proudest moments are when clients leave my classes smiling, energised and with boosted confidence. I am proud to help people feel more comfortable in their own skin, become fitter, become healthier and learn new and functional skills that they can keep forever. People never leave my gym feeling mentally worse than they did when they walk in – though they’re normally physically exhausted!


Away from boxing, what are your hobbies and interests and what do you enjoy most about living in Hook?

I like to spend time with my family, work on my business (blog and free newsletters available at and exercise. My job is pretty full on with the gym and over 450,000 connections over all of my social media platforms so my spare time is precious. The surroundings in Hook and local villages are beautiful for country walks with my wife and children so that’s usually my choice to get the best of both worlds.


For regular updates on Matt’s career, follow him on Instagram @theboxinglocker.

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