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Boxer Harry Matthews back in training
RE-UNITED – and primed to roll with the punches towards the rekindling of a boxing title dream.
That’s Harry Matthews, the Pocklington Rocket middleweight, who limbered up at full tilt back into the professional arena after an 11-month absence.
And as he seeks to launch his quest for a national belt, Matthews has teamed up again with York boxing trainer Glenn Banks, who helped to first propel him into the pro ranks.
The in-harness duo are now in pell-mell preparation for Matthews’ next bout – ten two-minute rounds against home-ground opponent Lee Markham on a Steve Goodwin promotions show at the Civic Hall in Grays on April 5.
Up for grabs is the International Masters middleweight belt and Matthews is determined his Essex whirl will signal the first of many a ring success second time around.
Just days away from his 25th birthday, there’s a fresh spring in the step of the middleweight whose last pro outing was in May last year when he was out-pointed by Chris Eubank junior, the son of the former world super-middleweight champion.
After that defeat – his sixth from 19 pro fights in which he had won 12 and drawn the other – Matthews opted to quit the ring following on from his earlier split some months before from his long-time trainer York-based Banks.
But refreshed, content in a new job, and admitting he felt “good in himself” Matthews sought out Banks with an invitation to work together again.
The axis, which had led to Matthews winning his first nine bouts on the spin after turning pro, is back and working flat out at the newly-named York Masters Boxing Club based in Layerthorpe’s Redeness Street.
Declared Matthews, who now works as a physical training coach at the David Lloyd sports centre in Hull Road: “I’m just so looking forward to getting back in the ring.
“By the time I fight Markham I’ll have not fought for 11 months, but I needed to have that break after 11 years as an amateur and a pro.
“Being out of the game gave me the chance to sort my life out outside the ring. Now I’m ready and raring to roll.”
He said his link-up again with Banks was natural. “Glenn was the man who guided me to a record of 9 and 0 in my days starting out as a pro. There’s no one who knows me better as a boxer than him and since we’ve been back together we’ve got that spark back.”
That spark, insisted Matthews, combined with twice-daily training sessions, would help him to realise his long-avowed hope of landing a championship.
He said: “I’m not going to say I’m going to be a world champion, or this, and that. But after my work with Glenn and my fitness and conditioning sessions with Ian Warbridge at Roko gym, my confidence is right back.
“No fighter has ever knocked me out and I feel I was nearly, nearly there. I never quite got it right, but I feel I have an edge now. I love boxing, and it’s still my dream to become a champion.”
Banks said he was delighted to be back in Matthews’ corner and was confident his protégé’s return would yield a conquest of Markham in ten weeks.
“We’ve picked up where we left off and Harry’s been buzzing in the gym, absolutely buzzing.
“It’s a ten-round fight and Harry’s done ten rounds four times before so he’s got the experience to go and win.”
Tickets for the show at Grays Civic Hall cost £35 and are available by phoning Matthews on 07854 543133.