It’s been no pain, no gain for Tommy Loach in his recovery from injury as he prepares to make his return to the ring.
Loach has spent over a year on the sidelines, but has worked his way back to fitness and is now ready to compete again.
He features when paid pugilism is back at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday May 11, on the BCB Promotions offering titled ‘Showtime.’
No one will be more pleased to be there than Loach, who suffered a serious setback when he last competed against MJ Hall.
He severely hurt his last leg and was knocked senseless by one exchange, but he battled on bravely to see the final bell in a daze.
Loach somehow managed to salvage a draw from the bout, with referee Shaun Messer scoring it a 39-39 stalemate.
Medical assistance was immediately sought and a long lay-off ensued, putting paid to his ambitions in the sport for the short-term.
Now Loach has again come to the fore with renewed vigour and still in possession of an unbeaten pro record, that had previously contained three wins with two TKOs.
The 26-year-old welterweight is determined to rebuild his momentum on his comeback, which will come after a testing recovery period.
He said: “It was a painful night for me. I over-stretched, towards the end of the first round, and felt a tear and a pop in my left leg.
“I decided to carry on, the adrenalin was pumping but I couldn’t really move my feet as I needed to. I didn’t realise how bad it was.
“The last thing I remember was a clash of heads in the second round. I was boxing on instinct after that, not really knowing where I was.
“Looking back now and as much the result does my head in, I was lucky to get away with a draw. I did well just to finish the fight.
“I went straight to hospital afterwards and it turned out that I’d torn the cartilage in my left leg, plus I’d ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
“To top it all off, I’d also suffered a concussion. I was told it would take, at least, a year to recover and 10 months minimum after having an operation.
“My op was in September, I was in a leg brace for eight weeks but I got myself a personal physio so I could get back ahead of schedule.
“I started training again, as soon as I could. I couldn’t do much with my legs, so we worked on defence and head movement.
“Those are areas where I’ve, perhaps, been lacking in the past, so I feel like I’m actually a better fighter now. I just can’t wait to get back in there.
“I’m hoping to pick up where I left off and push on to bigger and better things. As soon as I got this date, it gave me a massive boost.
“I’ve worked extremely hard to get fully fit again and there were some dark days when I got hurt. My coach, Mark Richards, helped me through that.
“It’s been a long road back and a character building experience, but I can turn it into a positive and that starts on May 11.”
Ricky Summers, with new trainer Spencer McCracken in his corner for the first time, features elsewhere on the Town Hall card as he looks to get back to winning ways.
Summers, from Tipton but now a resident of Wombourne in Wolverhampton, has challenged for the British light heavyweight title and wants another opportunity.
Kelcie Ball, from Dordon in Warwickshire, is also in action for his first outing as a member of the BCB stable.
‘Cannon’ Ball got nine wins under his belt, with one stoppage, before unsuccessfully challenging for the Midlands super welterweight crown.
A reigning area champion, James Beech Jr, keeps busy with the super featherweight crown in the bag. The unbeaten hometown hero hails from nearby Bloxwich.
Beech enjoyed his finest hour at the same venue in December, defeating Louis Fielding by ninth round knockout to claim the vacant strap.
Liam Davies, from Donnington in Telford, is another hopeful making his way as a pro after success in the unpaid ranks.
The super bantamweight, 23, has already secured two points results in his favour, having only turned over late last year.
The son of former Midlands champion Tristan Davies racked up 100 amateur contests for his father’s Donnington Boxing Club and boxed for England.
Two debutants, Amy Timlin and Ruben Campbell, complete the line-up. Timlin travels from Southam in Warwickshire to turn over.
Teenager Timlin, who is just 19, switched sports from kickboxing, where she won a host of titles, and will become a part of the featherweight division.
Second generation fighter Campbell, from Dudley, will join the same super lightweight ranks where dad Ray ‘Raza’ Campbell featured himself in the early 1990s.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It’s £40 for entry on the door.