ROSS BURKINSHAW faces his “make or break” come-back tonight with a warning that any sloppiness could end in heartbreak and a broken jaw.
The Rifles regiment soldier has had serious shoulder and knee injuries and hasn’t boxed since 2010.
But he returns to the ring against African Michael Ramabeletsa at Don Valley stadium this evening. Trainer Glyn Rhodes says: “Ramabeletsa broke (Brampton fighter) Josh Wales’ jaw (last December).
“Ross likes to have a war and please the crowd but he has got to approach this differently or will be in trouble. Ross needs to jab and move and use his full boxing repertoire, rather than go in the trenches. He has been out of the ring for a fair time so this is make or break. He has to win well if he’s going to get a shot at top bantamweights like Kid Galahad.”
Burkinshaw has three losses on his record and Rhodes believes he was the author of his own misfortune. “For a while Ross was body-building when he should have been more tuned into boxing training.
“It was vanity - if he was a bar of chocolate he would have eaten himself.
“But he is settling down now, there is no schmoozing, boozing and cruising now.”
Others on tonight’s bill are Crookes’ Carl Wild, Shiregreen’s Dave Fidler, Doncaster’s Daniel Slaney and Rotherham’s Louis Rutherford.
Sheffielder Ryan Rhodes says he has recovered from back injury and is ready to beat Sergey Rabchenko for European light-middleweight crown at Manchester Velodrome on June 16.
“It’s all systems go” he said. “My trainer Dave Coldwell is pushing me and so is my conditioner Mark Willie.
“I have had back problem since I was 25. But it won’t stop me winning back a belt I never lost in the ring.”