Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton hoping to turn his mind to more pressing matters
- Credit: Jerry Daws/
Sam Sexton says he is ready to win a personal psychological battle as he bids to out-muscle his rivals on the domestic heavyweight scene.
The Norwich fighter is two fights into a comeback after an 18-month enforced absence as he battled to shake off a serious back injury.
There were few signs of trouble as he beat tough Czech Tomas Mrazek, shaking off even more of the accumulated ring rust and signalling his intentions to be mixing it with the best of them next year.
While the physical battle is being won, Sexton admits a few other cobwebs need to be blown away.
'I am still a little paranoid about the back really,' he admitted. 'I stayed off the weights in the build-up to this fight.
'The back does worry me because it was a bad injury – a cracked disc and dislocated spine.
'I think the next camp I will have more time in between fights so I will jump on the weights a bit now.
- 1 Long-awaited plans for A47 roundabout revamps revealed
- 2 Hopes rekindled for new £20m railway station
- 3 'We're over the moon': Family overjoyed as missing Norwich girl returns home
- 4 Patient dies while waiting in ambulance for hospital bed
- 5 Snow starts to fall in Norfolk - but will it last?
- 6 John Lewis boss bids farewell to Norwich store after nearly three decades
- 7 New 4,000 home garden village idea criticised by countryside charity
- 8 'Please come home': Family's plea to help find missing Norwich girl
- 9 Which of the major shops are staying closed this Boxing Day?
- 10 Obituary: Owner of huge collection of vintage tractors dies aged 75
'At least I was able to go into the fight without any niggles at all, and I give credit for that to Natasha, my partner, who has prepped my food and give me physio. I felt sharp in there and I am getting back to my old ways.'
What may well be on the cards is indeed a return to something from the past – a clash with old foe Martin Rogan, who Sexton twice beat in his own Belfast backyard in 2009.
A dialogue has already been opened between the two camps, and Sexton is not averse to a third meeting.
'It could happen,' he said. 'If they want to sell out their arena again and make good money, it won't bother me.'
It's a fight trainer Graham Everett wants to see, but for now he is happy enough to see Sexton back in the ring – and using a slightly different tactic.
'I was keen to get Sam putting in more body shots,' he said. 'He hits very hard below and I am trying to get him to do more of that – he doesn't do it as much as he should do and it is something we have been working on in the gym – left hook to the body, left hook, right hook.
'I thought he showed good variety and I was really pleased with him. Massive credit to Sam, he has worked hard and boxed his way into condition.'
Another fighter who Everett believes will be a big hit is Clacton's Joe Hurn.
The 30-year-old super-welterweight took the BPA Classic Challenge belt back to Essex on Friday after a bloody 78-74 points win over Stoke's Marcus Le Doux, in Norwich.
'We have good plans for Joe,' said Everett. 'As far as I am concerned that is the first of many belts.
'He is probably one of the most exciting fighters in this country, in all honesty. If the TV cameras had been here for that fight they would have been raving about him.'
Hurn had Le Doux on the canvas in the first and sixth rounds and might even have stopped him in the fourth after a vicious attack which ended when Hurn slipped to the canvas.
His performance hid the fact that the fight was touch and go.
'Joe was he was suffering from a chest infection a couple of week ago and we weren't sure we would be able to go with it,' said Everett. 'But he pulled himself around, showed willing and desire beyond what most men would. He has awesome power, as you can see from the two knockdowns. Joe Hurn is Mr Excitement - a massive member of our gym now.'