HEAVYWEIGHT Dave Howe lumbers back into the ring tomorrow night eager to re-establish his credentials as a genuine contender.
The 6ft 8ins Sheffield puncher has had just one fight in the last year.
And his promoter Dennis Hobson is anxious to see whether he can pick up the pieces of his once-promising career.
Hobson said: “Dave has had family issues to sort out but is now back to show us what he can do. He is still very inexperienced and raw and there is a lot of work to be done with him,” said Hobson.
“What he needs is fights and good sparring sessions. He needs ring-craft...getting the right education will help him progress.”
Hobson says a man of his stature - he steps over the top ring when he makes his entrance - should make an impact, saying: “The heavyweight division has been weak for a long time and it is still wide open now.
“Dave has kept himself fit, he has always lived correctly and we’ll see what he has got.”
Hobson has had to fly in an opponent for him for his show at Don Valley stadium, tomorrow. Howe, 31, will face Remigijus Ziausys from Lithuania.
Ziausys may not know what he’s letting himself in for - he is 10 inches smaller for a start.
But he is certainly a busy operator. He has boxed no fewer than 20 times this year. And last month he lost on points in a six-rounder to Dereck Chisora, who takes on Vitali Klitschko for WBC heavyweight title fight in Munich, in February.
Meanwhile the wonders of Twitter has pitted together a Sheffield boxing fan Dan Jarvill and former world champion Paulie Malignaggi.
Jarvill posted that he’d heard that Malignaggi had turned down a fight with Kell Brook, who debuts in the US on Saturday against Puerto Rican Luis Galarza.
But the New York welterweight, who lost to Amir Khan, felt moved to respond: “Far from the truth, I never was supposed to fight Kell Brook.”