Hand injury delays Smedley’s ring return

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WOODTHORPE puncher Nicki Smedley will have to wait until September to make a ring comeback.

The 25-year-old has not fought since May 28 when he suffered a points defeat to Nigel Wright in their English light welterweight title duel. He had asked to be included on Dennis Hobson’s Summer Special show, at the Don Valley Stadium on July 29.

But the talented fighter faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines, as he has not fully shaken off a hand injury he sustained against Wright.

Chris Smedley, his father and trainer, told The Star: “He felt a twinge in his hand when he was sparring last week so he doesn’t want to take any chances with it. Nicki is getting treatment for his hand a couple of times a week. He is going to be fighting on the Jamie McDonnell bill on September 3 so he wants it to be right for that.”

He added: “I guarantee Nicki will win a title. He never looked out of his depth against Nigel. When he let his shots go, Nigel could not live with him.”

Ricky Hatton has retired from professional boxing following a glorious career which saw him win world titles at light-welterweight and welterweight. ‘The Hitman’ will focus on continuing to build Hatton Promotions that has produced many champions in just over two years.