West Bromwich prospect Tom Stokes is ready to kick-start his career after a frustrating 18-month ring absence.
The unbeaten middleweight (4-0) has not boxed since March 2014 after struggling to combine training with his job as a scaffolder.
Now Stokes, 20, has managed to strike a balance and is eager to make up for lost time – starting with his comeback scrap with Hull’s Luke Allon on Black Country Boxing’s ‘The Avengers’ show at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday, 3rd October.
“I’ve been out for 18 months because of work-related stuff and then I picked up a few niggling injuries,” Stokes told www.uko-boxing.com. “I was finding it hard to get time to train but I missed it and always wanted to get back into it. I’ve had four fights so far and won all of them, so it was frustrating being away. But it’s one of those things.
“I was younger then and I’ve matured a lot, so it’s the right time.
“When you’ve been out of the ring for so long, it’s hard to get back into it. I left it until after last Christmas but obviously I put a lot of weight on while I was out, so it’s been a case of losing that and getting my fitness up.”
Stokes faces Allon over four rounds show next month before looking to build some momentum and push on to bigger and better things.
“I want to get this comeback fight out of the way and have another one before Christmas,” he said. “Then next year I’ll be looking at moving up the rounds and onto bigger things.
“I was a light middleweight before and will be middleweight for this. If I can get back down to light middleweight in the future I will, but it’ll be harder because I’m naturally a bigger size now.”
“I don’t know a lot about Luke Allon really, I haven’t seen much of him but obviously I’ll be ready on the day.”
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.
Birmingham super featherweight, Paul ‘The Incredible’ Holt, headlines the show whilst West Bromwich duo – heavyweight, Matt Gordon, and super featherweight, Jack Summers – also feature.
Completing ‘The Avengers’ line-up are debutants Birmingham light middleweight Luke Walker and Wolverhampton light heavyweight, Leon Brown.
The Official weigh-in and aftershow party will take place at Rift & Co Walsall, Bridge Street, Walsall. Wrist-bands will be available on the evening and entry is free on production of a wristband.