Shane McPhilbin sees his comeback fight at the Motorpoint Arena next month as a stepping stone towards regaining the British cruiserweight championship.
McPhilbin wore the Lonsdale belt for 10 weeks in 2012 and admits he lost a bit of interest after a timekeeping blunder cost him victory over Enzo Maccarinelli.
He hasn’t fought since a defeat against Paul Butlin for the vacant Midlands Area heavyweight championship four years ago, but at 32, McPhilbin says he’s got his hunger back.
He fights old rival Jody Meikle – they fought twice in the amateurs – on a show promoted by Inspire Championship Boxing at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, July 14.
McPhilbin said: “I’ve been thinking about going back to the pros for a while.
“I train a few lads who are older than me and that’s me think: ‘If they can do it, why can’t I ?’
“I’ve been losing weight and I just want to see how this next one goes before I decide whether to try for my license.
“I would like to think I can get back in there and win titles, but I just want to take it one step at a time and see how I get on.
“I told the promoters of this show that I wanted a tough opponent.
“I didn’t want someone I could just walk through. I need someone who will tell me where I am.”
Meikle is well known to fans as a granite-chinned – and slightly bonkers – journeyman and since losing his license after a conviction, he’s been fighting every week on the unlicensed circuit.
“He’s a tough lad,” said McPhilbin, “and everyone knows he can take a punch.”
McPhilbin and Meikle are good friends – and kindred spirits.
“We are a bit similar,” said McPhilbin, “but I’m better looking !
“My youngest girl’s middle name is Jody, after him. I’m not saying I want her to grow up like him, though !”
McPhilbin won both their amateur bouts.
First time they boxed, Meikle was disqualified in Hucknall after a stray elbow left McPhilbin cut and unable to continue.
McPhilbin was a narrow points winner when they met on Meikle’s club show in Scunthorpe a couple of weeks later.
Their third fight is on a huge stage.
Promoters Inspire Championship Boxing hope 4,000 fight fans will be at the Motorpoint Arena and McPhilbin said: “It’s going to be a good crack.
“I used to watch Carl Froch at the Motorpoint and to box there myself is a bit of a dream come true.”
Tickets for the show are available from 07393 955100.