Kane Baker admits he nearly quit boxing after losing to Conor Benn – but instead returns to the ring to take on a former English title challenger.
The Venue in Dudley will again be his battleground when he goes toe-to-toe with Liam Richards a week on Friday (October 20), writes Craig Birch.
Richards boxes regularly and has now racked up 52 pro contests, with 12 wins having failed to see the distance in defeat just once.
The 31-year-old, from Wiltshire, went the full 10 rounds for a national crown in 2011 with Ryan Walsh, lasting the same duration with Chris Male a year earlier.
Baker will go in all guns firing, after getting over the disappointment of losing his unbeaten record in his last outing.
He went down by second round TKO to the son of former world champion Nigel at York Hall in London on September 1, with the Sky Sports cameras rolling live.
The game Brummie, from Bartley Green, feels he let himself down by not performing to his potential and was down twice before the finish.
The 27-year-old welterweight decided to call time on his career but has had a change of heart, after advice from friends and family.
He said: “Fighting on a big show like that was a brilliant experience and I’ll take some good things from it, but it was a bit overwhelming.
“I can see the positives and I don’t think I’ll get another chance to be in the spotlight again, but it did get to me at the last minute.
“You never say never in boxing, but that was like fighting for the first time. There was no control from me and everything I did was wild.
“When I got tagged, I just wanted to fight instead of box. When I got back to the corner, I was so zoned out I couldn’t hear what my coaches were telling me.
“If I had to score myself on the fight, I’d have given myself 4-10. I didn’t show much of the sparring I’d had or what the coaches had seen.
“I just didn’t get to my peak, not because of how good Conor was but due to my own nerves and I took punches I never should have been caught with.
“I can’t change what happened and I have to move on. I still want to win a title and something like the Midlands is what I’m after.
“My goal when I turned pro was to box on Sky Sports and I’ve done that, it came earlier than I maybe even thought but I took my chance and had a go.”
The former unlicensed fighter now looks to build on his victories, all on points against Dan Carr, Kristian Laight, Yaddollah Ghasemi and Danny Little.
Only the win against Carr came away from the Venue, which has proved a happy hunting ground for him and his supporters.
Baker said: “I’m hoping what I’ve been through will make me a better fighter, so it’s onwards and upwards for me now.
“I’d never under-estimate anyone, so I’ll keep my training at the standard it has been and I can always get better. My aim is to push on now.
“I’m going to dream as big as I can and to become a champion would be a dream come true, particularly after I was going to knock boxing on the head.
“It was mainly my partner, Coral, who convinced me to carry on and I’ve some great advice from my family, along with the people who have come to support me.
“I was adamant that I wasn’t going to fight again, but I realise it’s my job and perhaps I’ve been a bit in hobby mode. It’s a tough sport and you have to give 100 per cent.
“I don’t want to look back and have any regrets. I didn’t want to go out with a loss and there’s a lot more I can do. I love boxing and it keeps me on the straight and narrow.”
The show, which has been titled ‘Knocked for Six,’ also features six-round bouts for Les Byfield and Brad Foster, plus a four-rounder for Shaun Cooper.
Tickets, priced at £35 or £50 ringside with waitress service are still available by calling 07976 283 157. Alternatively, contact any of the boxers in the home corner on Facebook.