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 17 months on the sidelines, but has worked his way back to fitness and is now ready to compete again.
He features BCB Promotions’ show in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, Walsall Football Club, on Saturday September 7. The bill is titled ‘Back at the Banks’s.’
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 September 7.”
The top of the bill will see Tipton’s Lee Glover and Brummie Sean Davis do battle for the vacant Midlands featherweight title.
Davis has previously been an English and WBC International champion at super bantam, also challenging for the British and English crowns as a feather.
Glover has unsuccessfully gone for the English belt at two weights and the Midlands feather title, losing the latter to Leigh Wood, who has now vacated the title.
There’s a packed undercard too.
Unbeaten Brummie southpaw Shaka Thompson, from Selly Oak, has recorded five points successes in the middleweight division himself and is aiming to make it six of the best.
The left-hander hasn’t lost a round in seeing off Sean Gorman, Callum Ide, Liam Griffiths, Martin Kabhrel and Jordan Grannum, but has yet to box this year.
Dudley’s Ruben Campbell is preparing to lace on the gloves again, after outpointing Hall on his pro bow in May.
Another second-generation boxer, Campbell is planning to campaign as a super lightweight, the same ranks where his dad Ray ‘Raza’ Campbell featured in the early 1990s.
Alex Jones also defeated Hall over-the-distance on his debut and, like Campbell, is readying himself for more ring action.
The former soldier, from Tiverton in Devon, turned over in Walsall at the Town Hall and now returns to box at the Banks’s.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP with a hot fork buffet, are available by calling the Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414, extension 416. It will be £40 for entry on the door.