BURNLEY boxer Wayne Bennett has been forced to hang up his gloves.
The 25-year-old had boasted an unblemished record since turning professional in 2010, defeating Sean Gorman on his debut before adding victories against Kristian Laight and Carl Allen.
But in preparation for a fourth bout, the explosive fighter hit a stumbling block when damaging his nose during a sparring session.
He hasn’t been able to step into the ring since.
“It’s just one of those things,” said Wayne.
“It was just a matter of time before this moment arrived.
“My nose went so many times they didn’t think it was going to heal.
“My nose keeps popping out in training, like a dislocation, and it’s always going to get hit during a fight.
“You can duck and dive or hide away all you like but I’d have had to get stuck in at some point.
“It’d just keep happening if I continued. The last time it happened it just sickened me a bit.”
Wayne, who had been under the wing of Damien Jones alongside his brother Lee, is now working towards becoming a fully qualified amateur boxing coach at Burnley Amateur Boxing Club, based at Astley House in Albert Street.
“I’m working towards getting my ABA coaching badges at the minute,” he said.
“I’m helping out with the training and organising fights for some of the lads. I’m enjoying it.”
And that shift has started brightly with debutants Jake Lee, 14, and 27-year-old James Larkin registering victories in Kirkham on their debuts.
“They both did really well,” beamed Wayne. “I’m proud of them both. I’m really taking to this side of things.
“I knew it was going to happen eventually, but it’s just arrived sooner than expected.”
Anybody wishing to train or volunteer at Burnley ABC or sponsor the gym can do so by contacting Wayne on 07713 556763, or by visiting the gym’s Facebook page.