SUNDERLAND boxer Glenn Foot says he will feel like a winner the moment he steps into the ring on Sunday – regardless of the outcome of his bout, writes Graeme Anderson.
The 24-year-old is fighting for the first time since his licence was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control following a pub brawl in February, and he admits there were times he feared he would never be allowed to box again.
But this weekend he’ll be at the Stadium of Light as part of promoter Phil Jeffries’ Summer Rumble 2 show and says it will be a relief to put the last few months behind him.
“It was a real worry at the time,” he told the Echo. “You get your licence suspended and you know you won’t be able to box professionally again until you get it back.
“I always thought I would get it back, but the truth is you never know.
“And that’s the worry because boxing is my life. If it had been taken away from me I don’t know what I would have done.”
He was suspended after a brawl broke out at a boxing show in the Pullman Lodge in Seaburn which left Robert Bute, a doorman, with a broken ankle, a black eye, cuts, bruising and a severely lacerated finger.
Foot was convicted of assault at Newcastle Crown Court, but judge Guy Whitburn also suggested he hoped the boxer would be allowed his licence back – and the BBBC have done just that.
Now, the man from Marley Pots will look to build on a record of six straight professional wins when he goes into his welterweight contest with Coventry’s James Flinn on Sunday before hopefully hurrying on to other fights.
“What happened is a lesson learned for me and I don’t intend to allow myself to get into trouble again,” he said.
“All I want to do now is focus on my boxing and get more and more fights under my belt. I don’t want to hang around.
“I had my first half-dozen fights in just over a year and I want to keep fighting that regularly if I can.
“I feel as though I’m as good as anyone in the country at light-welterweight, but I can’t seem to find people willing to fight me, which is why I’ve put on weight to take a fight at welterweight.”
Foot insists he will not under-estimate his experienced opponent over the course of a contest scheduled for four three-minute rounds.
Flinn, 30, has lost his last three fights after being undefeated in his first 11 and is anxious to get back to winning ways.
Foot said: “I know a bit about him. He’s orthodox and he’s got a decent record – he’s got a couple of knock-outs in there, too, so he can obviously bang a bit.
“But I’m confident in myself.
“I’m absolutely raring to go, training has gone well and I can’t wait for Sunday to come.
“I’m a Sunderland supporter and the fact that I’m fighting at the Stadium of Light and in front of my friends and family only makes it better.”
H Tickets are still available for Summer Rumble 2 – ringside seats and executive packages – anyone interested should ring 07747 611020 for more information.