FOR two and a half years, John Fewkes has been a willing “punch bag” at Sheffield Boxing Centre.
He retired from a promising career professional at the age of 24 having fallen out of love with the sport.
He kept going to Glyn Rhodes’ Hillsborough gym to keep in touch with pals he’s trained with since the age of 10.
But now he’s been bitten by the bug again - and makes his return to the ring as a light middleweight tomorrow, at Barnsley Metrodome.
“Boxing was all I’d ever known, but I just got fed up of it” says 5ft 8ins Fewkes, who ballooned to 15-stone after retiring.
“I began to realise what I was missing. The penny dropped and I started to take it seriously again.
“I’d been a punch bag for Carl Wild and Jez Wilson as they prepared for titles and thought it was time I started being more than that.
“I’m doing this for myself, my girlfriend and my family.
“I never got nervous in the past, but I’ll have a few butterflies” said ‘Fewky.’
“But I am determined - if they put Mike Tyson in there tomorrow I’d beat him!”
Fewkes was defeated only once in 21 fights, an English lightweight title bout in 2008 against Martin Gethin.
“I was gutted when Ricky Hatton came back and lost, recently, but it didn’t impact on me. He’s older than me and came back at world level.
“I have been matched against a tough kid, who has just been in a British Masters light-middleweight 10-rounder (Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence) but I can guarantee you that I can do this.”