No more risk-taking with Sheffield boxer’s weight

Lee Connelly: no more risks
Lee Connelly: no more risks
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Lee Connelly admits he has learned an important lesson after the head injury to fellow Sheffield boxer Jerome Wilson.

The Sheffield scrapper shrunk down to super feathweight from his natural lightweight to face Cudworth’s Andy Townend in a Central Area title match in September.

It went badly - drained of energy he suffered a fifth round stoppage at Doncaster Dome.

Connelly, aged 26, suffered a suspected fractured rib in that contest and is now out of the game until the New Year.

He said: “The main thing was the trouble I had making weight.

“I had not boxed at super feather before and it was harder than I thought to get down there (9st 4). A few days before the fight I had to shift a lot of water and weight and was so dehydrated that it took its toll.

“I felt every punch and obviously the fight didn’t go to plan.”

Connelly, who lives in Westfield, said the September 6 defeat happened just days before Jerome Wilson suffered a serious head injury in a fight at iceSheffield against Serge Ambomo.

“I once went to Ireland with Jerome when we were in the amateurs and I thought it was terrible what happened to him.

“Generally, when you are dehydrated the fluid around your brain shrinks and after what happened to him, I decided it is the last time I take a risk - I will be boxing back at lightweight from now on.”

That switch won’t happen until his rib is fully healed.

“It feels better now but it will be next year before I am back,” said Connelly, who says he is considering leaving the S18 gym in Dronfield.

“I need to focus on my future because I didn’t sell that many tickets for the biggest fight of my career, a ten-round title match (v Townend) so maybe I will have to go back on the road taking on up-and-coming fighters like I did with Luke Campbell.”

The Unstone car mechanic added: “It is a hard sport, cruel at times, but if I can get a few away wins maybe (promoter) Eddie Hearn will ask me back on one of his shows.”

* Sheffield’s British Masters welterweight champion Ryan Hardy takes to the ring tonight, against unbeaten Liam Taylor in Manchester.

The 28-year-old South Yorkshireman (won 7 lost 2) hopes to put a dint in Taylor’s nine match record.

Hardy has lost his last two of his last three fights - but he has his sights on another title.

He is also slated to box another unbeaten fighter, Adam Little, in Blackpool, for the Central Area title on December 12.