Bascome recalls playing days at Hornets with Wells
Working out is pretty much a daily routine for Nikki Bascome.
However, the professional boxer admits their are occasionally days when he has to force himself to make the journey to the gym.
“There are days I'm down or things aren't clicking and you don't want to train like any athlete,” the super lightweight said. “Some days you're just not motivated.”
It is during trying times such as these when Bascome draws inspiration from the success achieved by his good friend Nahki Wells, the Queens Park Rangers forward.
“There are a lot of times I think of Nahki and be like ‘Yo! He made it, [I] can't give up now. [We've] still got to meet up at the top', like we always used to talk about,” Bascome said. “Nahki has definitely inspired me as a professional.”
Bascome's friendship with Wells dates back to their childhood when they played alongside each other for Dandy Town's youth teams.
“I think we had a good chemistry,” Bascome recalls. “Nahki was always that leader on the team and a good striker. I played my position well, also, and I think both of our talents came together as one.
“I'm definitely happy for Nahki and his successful pro career and not surprised to see him where he is at now because he was destined for it. Nahki is very competitive and has that instinct as an athlete. His will to win is very high in whatever he does.”
Wells returned the compliment.
“Nikki was a good footballer and we played with each other for maybe two or three years,” he said. “He was a very good attacking player able to score goals and had trickery.
“He was small like myself and, of course, my name is similar to his, so a lot of people used to compare us and debate who was the better player back in the day.”
Bascome added: “It was a good experience. I remember Saturday mornings I couldn't wait to play with guys like Nahki, Danté Leverock and Reggie Lambe. That time was special for me, just being able to play with them.
“I really learnt a lot at that time in my life when I was playing football. Everybody was such team players and it's always good to be on a team like that.”
Bascome has also been a major source of inspiration for Wells, particularly for the adversity he has overcome in his life.
“I think he has shared his life story enough with everyone throughout the island, how he has a lot of setbacks in his life,” Wells said. “Family members passing, not having the best guidance or up bringing through his early teenage years which influenced him to get involved in violence and gangs and stuff like that.
“He isn't one to deny that he was kind of a bad boy in his younger days. I just think the man he is today shows how strong he was to cut out hanging around with the wrong people.
“He has gone on to turn a negative into a positive, which is something I admire about him because he was brave enough and strong enough to get into boxing. He channels all of his energy, frustration and disappointments into his sport, which is why we see such a talented, hard-working athlete because nothing has been given to him.
“He has been a fantastic and huge role model to have overcome adversity.”
Wells has been in Bascome's corner since he made the switch from football to boxing.
“When I first started boxing Nahki congratulated me and used to always tell me who his favourite boxers were,” Bascome said. “Roy Jones Jr was his favourite fighter and he also liked Floyd Mayweather.
“Nahki was always routing for me and encouraging me to keep at it. He was always positive giving me my props and that was something that I admired a lot about him.”
Wells recalls those early days in Bascome's boxing career.
“It didn't surprise me that he got into boxing and I have kept up with his boxing career from his amateur days all the way through to his last bout,” Wells said.
Wells had the pleasure of watching Bascome in the ring during his unanimous points victory over Filipino Alvin Lagumbay at the Victualling Yard in Dockyard in June.
“It was my first chance to watch him live for the first time and it was a joy to watch,” he added. “I was glad to see how much Bermudians came out to support him and the other local fighters.
“To see the desire, hard work and mental strength it takes to do what he does I always tell him that I am a huge admirer of his for what he puts into his craft. The dedication it takes in that sport is second to none and is no comparison to what we have to do physically and mentally as footballers.”
Bascome is in training for his next bout against Ryan Oliver in the main event at Fight Night Champion at the Fairmont Southampton on January 18.