Jack Arnfield has thrown a verbal left hook at boxing bosses after becoming the latest to ditch his gloves to fight bareknuckle.
Fight fans last saw Arnfield running Tommy Langford close in a challenge for the British middleweight title on the George Groves-Chris Eubank jr undercard in February, 2017.
Arnfield has since been involved in a lengthy court battle that ended with him being cleared of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
He had previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis for which he was handed a one-year suspended sentence that started after his acquittal on the greater charge last October.
Arnfield said: “I pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis last February – and then had to go through a lengthy court case for something I didn’t do.
“There was no evidence against me. They thought they knew what I was up to – and they didn’t.
“I asked the British Boxing Board of Control to backdate my one-year ban from the date I admitted the cannabis charge.
“That meant I would have been able to box in February, but instead they have said I will have to wait until November and that’s too long to be out of boxing.
“I will be 30 by then and will have to claw my back to British title contention.
“There’s no money in fighting six rounders and I have a family to think of.
“I’ve had to retire from pro boxing because the Board haven’t been great with me.
“I’ve been a pro for 12 years and thought I deserved better.”
Arnfield will be ringside for BKB 17 at London’s O2 Indigo on Saturday, June 8 before making his debut in September.
“I’m a fan of all fight sports and I’ve been watching barerknuckle boxing since it started,” he said.
“They pay good money and the standard is getting better, but from what I’ve seen, they aren’t at my level.
“I’m confident I will get to the top.
“I won’t have to change my style much. I’m long and rangy and don’t get hit much. I can beat them with my jab. That’s what I plan to do. I’m not going to play around. I want to fight the big names and get to the top.”