AFTER a 12-month absence Burnley boxer Wayne Bennett is determined to return to the ring with a bang.
The 25-year-old has been plagued with injury since recording his third professional success over Carl Allen at Huddersfield Leisure Centre last year, with a broken nose and torn tendons in his heel hindering his steady progress.
The unbeaten fighter has since had three operations to correct his nose, which was broken on two occasions in sparring, but then sustained the foot injury approximately six months ago to suffer further setback.
“Everything seems to have healed now and I’m feeling fine,” he said.
“I’m not feeling any pain so that’s good. It’s been tough because your footwork is as important as your hands and I’ve not been able to push off.
“I want to get through this one unscathed and then try to get four more fights in before the end of the year.”
The light welterweight is scheduled to fight at Hull’s City Hall on Friday, March 23rd, though no opponent has been confirmed as yet.
But Bennett believes he’s had the necessary preparation and training to face anyone, including sparring sessions with Paul Davis, who faces Matthew Hatton next.
“The match-maker (Jon Pegg) has said that he’s got three or four people lined up for me,” said Bennett. “It’s usually a week or two before the fight when your opponent is confirmed. When you climb higher up the rankings you get to know who you’re fighting sooner so you can prepare better.”
Bennett added: “It’s just a case of training hard and hoping for the best. I’ve been sparring with all sorts of different fighters with differing physiques and styles to get me ready.
“I’ve sparred with Paul Davis as well and held my own against him, which is encouraging. I’ve been pretty sharp to say I’ve been out for a while. I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to peak so it’s a case of maintaining it.”
The objective now for Bennett is to get through his return contest before attempting to record as many victories as possible before the end of the year.
“I want to get going, gather some momentum, and get as many fights under my belt as possible,” he stated. “That’s why I’ve taken this fight out of town. It’s good to fight locally because your fans can come and see you but I need to get these bouts in. There’s not as much pressure on me fighting out of town.
“I want to get more recognised and push for a shot at a title. I feel fit, I’ve been training eight to 10 rounds with different lads so I know my fitness is there. I’m ready to get back and get going again now.”
To purchase tickets for the event, which also features Tommy Coyle and Gary Sykes, contact Wayne on 07713 556763. Tickets are priced at £30.