Former WBA middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam found a unique way to repay the French hospital that cared for his father-in-law, who overcome a tough battle with the COVID-19 virus.

Instead of gifts, N'Dam decided to give the staff at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges hospital boxing lessons - as a way to relieve stress after very long shifts.

“[Material gifts] are things that won’t last. I wanted to leave something quite memorable. [The lessons will help in] letting off steam, getting rid of all one’s emotions. They have seen so many [difficult] things that they came here looking for something,” said N’Dam to the AP. “Sometimes they came to laugh, to let off steam. Others came to discover something, others to learn, improve.”

27-year-old Marina De Carli has been on the front line of the pandemic in France and looks forward to N'Dam's lessons.

“In the ICU we see things that are not easy,” she said. “So it feels good to let the pressure drop a bit.”

The boxing lessons have allowed N’Dam to keep a close eye on his father in law, Jean-Claude Valero, as he recovered from the virus.

Philippe Wodecke, 55-years-old, who works in part of the unit which treated Valero, gave high praise to N'Dam and said the workouts have been an invaluable help for him and his weary colleagues.

“A moment of escape, a moment of relaxation amid the torment,” Wodecke said. “He’s done us a lot of good.”

N'Dam, 36-years-old, has lost three of his last four bouts, with a twelve round decision loss in his last ring outing in December 2019 to Fedor Chudinov.