Knockout specialist Chad Gaynor is ready to fight again – after recovering from a broken neck.
Gaynor built a reputation as a puncher as a teenage amateur and after turning professional, he hit too hard for some hardened journeymen as he stormed up the rankings.
The Rotherham banger had eight wins inside three rounds before he ran into Ahmet Patterson.
Patterson stopped him for the vacant English title in September, 2014 and weeks later, Gaynor’s life fell apart.
“My pal lost control of the car he was driving and we ended up in a ditch,” said the 29 year old from Rotherham.
“I broke my neck. I had to get it fused back together. The operation was risky. I could have been paralysed. The operation went OK, but it really messed me up.
“My head was a mess for years.
“I had just parted ways with Dave Coldwell and signed with a management company in Los Angeles and then the accident messed everything up.
“I was told I would never fight again, but when I went back to see the surgeon 12 months ago, he said I could have fought after the operation because my neck was strong enough.
“I went mad.
“I wasted all those years.
“But I still have a few years left and bareknuckle boxing is the sport everyone wants to be a part of now.”
Part of the sport’s appeal is the stage it gives fighters.
The Indigo at the O2 Arena will be packed with 3,000 fans and millions more will be tuning in around the world when Gaynor and Robby Drought go toe to toe on Saturday, September 12.
The show also features the farewell fight of Robin Deakin, who calls himself ‘Britain’s Worst Boxer,’ and a heavyweight ‘Prizefighter’ tournament.
Gaynor advises fans not to blink when he fights.
“These bareknuckle lads have got no chance,” he predicted. “I have knocked people out when I’ve been wearing big sparring gloves, so what chance have they got when I’m fighting bareknuckle. Nobody is going to be able to take my punch. I know that for a fact.”