Four years ago, Ross Burkinshaw looked set for great things.
He was crowned English superflyweight champion after a decisive, seven round stoppage in London.
Little was he to know, that night, that things would go wrong soon afterwards.
The Sheffielder, 27, has boxed just six times since that night April 2009, losing three of them, including a tilt at the British belt.
Illness and injury were his demons: he’s had shoulder problems, two operations on his cruciate ligament and had to undergo the removal of a lump on his bladder. But the former soldier, who has fought just once since 2010, is back in the ring a week tomorrow, with a duel against former British and Commonwealth superbantam Jason Booth.
The contest over six rounds will give the Beighton man a clear picture of what he has left to give. “I am feeling great and all my injuries have cleared up” said “Ross the Boss.”
“I got bitter with all the problems I faced, but boxing is in my blood, is what I have always done. Jason Booth thinks he can beat me. It will be a tough fight - this is no easy warm-up. He is about sixth in the rankings but a win for me will help me get up there.”
Booth, who has a proud pedigree, lost a 12-round WBC international title bout to Sheffield’s Kid Galahad last year.