Jonson McClumpha is ready to make his long-awaited return to the ring, writes Roy Kelly.
The Sunderland boxer has not taped up the gloves since his English title challenge in Sheffield last December ended in a bloody mess.
McClumpha is looking to bounce back from that unlucky defeat to Lewis Taylor when he fights at the Summer Rumble on Sunday.
The 24-year-old has not got an opponent yet, but is simply thrilled to be back and back on home territory.
McClumpha has recovered from the gashed eye which forced a premature end to his championship bout with Taylor.
He has also had to bounce back mentally after his dream was shattered, not to mention the end of his unbeaten record.
“It’s been a bit of both to be honest,” when asked whether the physical or mental scars hurt the most.
“It was hard to deal with.
“Boxing’s my life and I shut myself away to get ready for that fight and then something like that happens.
“If I had been beaten by a better lad, I’d have turned around and said that’s fair enough and I gave it my all.
“But it was something totally out of my control, a clash of heads and a massive cut. Maybe it could have been stopped earlier and declared a technical draw, but I wasn’t going to get that favour.
“I think I could have won that fight, I had a good start, but maybe there was a bit of a lack of experience on my part. Maybe I let the cut bother me more than it should have.”
But the David Binns-trained middleweight is back and thrilled to be at the Stadium of Light, where he has taken a starring role in 2013 and 14.
“It’s a class show,” said the former Sunderland ABC man.
“I love the atmosphere.
“This time last year, I won the Masters title against Jason Ball at the Rumble over 10 rounds and the time before I had a great fight with Andrew Buchanan.
“Hopefully. If I get the win under my belt this Sunday and see where it takes us.”
McClumpha is part of a 15-fight bill on Sunday afternoon. For tickets, call Phil on 07747 611 020.