Knife attack boxer Luke Evans feels safer in the ring

RINGSIDE 23/10/2018

The boxing ring might seem like a scary place, but Luke Evans will never experience anything as terrifying inside the ropes as he has outside them. Last year, the 22-year-old was subjected to a horrific knife attack that left him with life-changing injuries and threatened to end his flourishing boxing career.

Just over 12 months on and Luke returns to action for his second ring appearance since that fateful night when he gets an outing at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on November 17. Determined to remain positive, Luke says his experiences have helped give him a sense of perspective about life, and that he now wants to be known for his boxing ability.

“The boxing ring has never been a scary place, for me,” explained Luke, who is trained by Blaine Younis at Ricky Hatton’s Hyde gym.

“I don’t think boxing is scary, but life is – it’s definitely scarier. You get punched in the face for a living but it’s not the same as getting a knife in the face so, in that sense, I don’t think anything hits harder than what I’ve been through. What I experienced that night in August 2017, I don’t think you can get any scarier than that. But I’ve come out the other side, I’ve got my career back, and hopefully [manager] Steve Wood can push me onto bigger and better things in the near future.

“It’s important for me to be known for my boxing now. The attack did bring a lot of media attention which is a good thing, but it’s also for the wrong reasons. If I’d had my way, the coverage would have been about my boxing rather than the attack. Obviously, in boxing you need attention and difficult things have happened to other fighters like Anthony Crolla, Jamie Moore, and Kell Brook, and I’ve just been trying to follow in their footsteps with how they’ve dealt with it.”

Unbeaten Evans, currently 8-0, has title ambitions and is hopeful he will pick up his first belt next year. The Salford native has a tricky end-of-the-year ahead, with his attack court case looming, but is eyeing a 2019 Central Area Title tilt as the first port-of-call in his chase for honours. Hoping to campaign at light-welterweight in the future, Luke’s dream is of one day winning the Lonsdale Belt. Picking up the British Title is not an easy task for any pro but, with the determination he’s already shown in life, don’t back against Luke in achieving his ambition.

“The aim this year is to finish at 9-0. There’s a lot of stuff going on outside of boxing which will be a major distraction soon, like the court case. So that will take up the rest of this year. I’m then hoping to get down to light welter and hopefully pick up my first title; the Central Area belt.

“I never want to call anyone out but if a fight is made I’ll take it. There will be a lot of local boxers thinking the same, but I believe that title is there for me next year, and I don’t care who I fight for it because I believe I’m the best of the crop. I think the title is currently held by Ryan Mulcahy who is a Scouse lad, so that would make for a great fight because it would be Manchester versus Liverpool, but I don’t know if he’s pushing onto bigger things or if the title is vacant. Hopefully it will be the first of many though. My long-term goal is to become British champion, and if I do that then I’ve succeeded in my intentions.

“For now, I’m just looking forward to getting back in the ring on November 17. It’ll be amazing. I wish I’d had my first fight back after the attack at the Victoria Warehouse. All the pressure if off now, I’ve got a great fan base in Salford and am looking forward to getting back. I want to put on a show for everyone and am happy for my fans to see me back.”

VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on November 17.  Appearing will be Middleton’s Liam Taylor; Salford’s Luke Evans and Luke Vaughan; Manchester’s Charlie Schofield, Brad Rea and Kane Gardner; Delph’s Andy Kremner; Leeds’ Bob Ajisafe; Rochdale’s Muhammad Ali; Oldham’s Joe Eko; and Liverpool’s Adam Farrell.

Tickets priced at £35 (general), £60 (ringside) are available from all boxers, or at vipboxing.tv and Eventim.co.uk

The show will also be streamed live and free at vipboxing.tv

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