images: Mkuu Amani /pmedialive
West Bromwich welterweight prospect Tommy Loach will make his return to the ring next month almost three years to the day after making his pro debut and after spending a long, hard 17 months on the sidelines courtesy of a serious injury that he picked up during his last bout in March 2018.
He features on BCB Promotions’ ‘Back at the Banks’s.’ edition at the Stadium Suite, Walsall Football Club, on Saturday September 7 and will be eager to rediscover the form that saw him secure three wins in his first three professional contests before suffering the injury in his fourth bout when he came up against the well seasoned and extremely durable Brierley `Hill southpaw, MJ Hall.
Despite being hampered and shaken from early in the four round bout by a combination of the concussion brought about by a clash of heads and what turned out to be a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, Loach somehow managed to salvage a draw from the bout, with referee Shaun Messer scoring the contest 39-39 a piece.
Loach said: “It was a painful night for me. I over-stretched, towards the end of the first round, and felt a tear and a pop in my left leg.
“I decided to carry on, the adrenalin was pumping but I couldn’t really move my feet as I needed to. I didn’t realise how bad it was.
“The last thing I remember was a clash of heads in the second round. I was boxing on instinct after that, not really knowing where I was.
“Looking back now and as much the result does my head in, I was lucky to get away with a draw. I did well just to finish the fight.
“I went straight to hospital afterwards and it turned out that I’d torn the cartilage in my left leg, plus I’d ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
“To top it all off, I’d also suffered a concussion. I was told it would take, at least, a year to recover and 10 months minimum after having an operation.
“My op was in September, I was in a leg brace for eight weeks but I got myself a personal physio so I could get back ahead of schedule.
“I started training again, as soon as I could. I couldn’t do much with my legs, so we worked on defence and head movement.
“Those are areas where I’ve, perhaps, been lacking in the past, so I feel like I’m actually a better fighter now. I just can’t wait to get back in there.
“I’m hoping to pick up where I left off and push on to bigger and better things. As soon as I got this date, it gave me a massive boost.
“I’ve worked extremely hard to get fully fit again and there were some dark days when I got hurt. My coach, Mark Richards, helped me through that.
“It’s been a long road back and a character building experience, but I can turn it into a positive and that starts on September 7.”
In the headline contest Sean Davis and Lee Glover are to contest the vacant Midlands featherweight title, in what many fight fan see as a must-win clash for both parties.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP with a hot fork buffet, are available by calling the Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414, extension 416.
It will be £40 for entry on the door.