Lowestoft boxer Craig Poxton returns to ring with sights set on another title shot

Craig Poxton returns to the ring on Friday evening. Photo:.Jerry Daws/ Stillfocused.co.uk

Craig Poxton returns to the ring on Friday evening. Photo:.Jerry Daws/ Stillfocused.co.uk - Credit: ©stillfocused.co.uk / Jerry

Craig Poxton has not given up hope of having another Southern Area title shot as he makes his welcome comeback against Yordan Vasilev at The Halls in Norwich on Friday evening.

Poxton lost an epic battle against George Jupp in a Southern Area bout last year, but has been forced out of the ring since then after picking up a hand injury.

However, after a successful operation, trainer Matt Smith revealed Poxton hopes to take the first steps to another title shot tonight when he takes on Bulgarian Vasilev.

'We aren't looking too far ahead and we are giving this fight all the respect it deserves, then we will look at other things,' said Smith.

Smith has helped mastermind Poxton's comeback to the sport after a three-year break between 2010 and 2013.

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'There is likely to be another show in Norwich before the end of the year so we will go for that again and then we will look for the Southern Area title again, which is vacant at the moment. Other fighters have used that title as a springboard to further success and we would love to do the same.'

Smith admitted that, despite the surgery, Poxton's hand is still not completely pain-free although his training has been tailored whilst the scar tissue settles down.

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'He's looking good in sparring. His hand is still not perfect but it is holding up,' added Smith. 'I think it will take time to get back to 100pc.

'For any normal person it would be fine but when you're throwing lots of punches in training you are going to inflame it more obviously.

'We are able to work round it – whereas before we did a lot of cardio work throwing punches on the bag, we look to get that elsewhere now.'

Vasilev is considered something of a journeyman although the 31-year-old European fighter has registered 17 wins in his 59 bouts, including four by knockout.

'He has been round the block and been in with some very good fighters,' said Smith. 'He's been used as a test for boxers on their way up but the fact he's got 17 wins shows that he is not to be underestimated.

'What Craig musn't do is try to emulate fighters that have beaten him before. He's got to be patient and wait for the right moments to strike, otherwise you can find yourself walking on to a punch.'

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