Sheffield boxing: Johnny Nelson ‘misses adulation’ says promoter Dennis Hobson

South Yorks Police & Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright visits The St Thomas Boxing Gym on Newman Road,Wincobank with Junior Witter,Brendan Ingle and Johnny Nelson
South Yorks Police & Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright visits The St Thomas Boxing Gym on Newman Road,Wincobank with Junior Witter,Brendan Ingle and Johnny Nelson
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What does it say about boxing that Johnny Nelson is returning?

What it shows is that, like a lot of ex-champions, he’ll miss the adulation, the ring-walk, the fear-factor and the challenge. I don’t think it says anything bad about boxing that he could come back and regain the title, and who says he will? I still play for Sheffield Wednesday in my dreams, but I wouldn’t last 10 minutes now! Johnny’s had a lot of injuries and even though he’s in fantastic shape, your body will tell you. Johnny is a pal of mine. He wasn’t the most watchable but he found a way to win. He made his style work for him, but that style wasn’t really for me. I admire Johnny, he’s a success story outside of boxing too. So credit to him.

If Ross Burkinshaw successfully defends his Commonwealth title against Martin Ward; how far is he off a world belt himself

Don’t be surprised by what Ross can achieve. Look at Ward, he won the Commonwealth and I got him a world title shot. If Stuart Hall comes through [v Randy Caballero] and Ross does too, it would fill a venue in Sheffield. Ross, at the moment, is the most popular boxer in Sheffield and the best self-promoted kid ever. He’s so likeable people come out to see him. I wouldn’t bet against him fighting for a world title next year!

The British heavyweight scene is healthy with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, David Price and David Haye – your thoughts?

Fury has been very unfortunate with fights falling through with Haye and Dereck Chisora. He’s lost momentum but I like him. He’s colourful and brings a lot to the game. Maybe he needs to curb his outbursts but he’s a character and I’d always tune in to watch him. Joshua looks the business but he hasn’t fought anybody yet. I’d be doing the same with him if I was promoting him. We don’t know for sure, but he does look the part. If Tyson and Anthony fought, it could be the flick of a coin. It would be all about who can impose themselves and land first. But Joshua hasn’t fought a big man yet so let’s see how he copes first. Price has some psychological rebuilding to do. He has all the ability and can whack. He just needs to sort his technique out. People talk about a glass jaw, but if any heavyweight hits you then you’ll go over. Haye is the best but he’s not going to be around for long. He’s picking and choosing his fights and topping up his bank balance. But he’s the most accomplished. It would be great to have him in the mix; it would make the domestic heavyweight scene so much healthier.

COLUMN BY DENNIS HOBSON, PROMOTER