Leeds boxer Jack Bateson buzzing to be back in the ring after hand injury
The former Team GB amateur boxer had to pull out of his scheduled bout against English champion Michael Ramabeletsa back in October – his first title bout – due to a hand injury.
After making it 11 wins from as many fights, it was a big blow to Bateson, given the stage at the First Direct Arena and being the undercard to Josh Warrington v Sofiane Takoucht.
Following an operation on his hand, the 25-year-old super-bantamweight is now set to go for his return at the Elland Road Pavilion on Friday, April 3.
“I’m just buzzing to be back,” beamed Bateson. “I’m firing on all cylinders already and I feel like the rest has done my body the world of good.
“I’m a lot more recharged and I’m enjoying my training again.
“It got to a point where, because I was so active for two years, I never really got any fitter.
“Whereas now, I’m feeling fitter, stronger, faster and I’m a lot more focused now.
“I can’t wait to put on a show on April 3 and hopefully get back to where I left off and start rising through the ranks again.”
The injury – a snapped tendon around the knuckle on his hand – occurred around a year ago before the swelling become too much in the build-up to the Ramabeletsa fight.
“Twelve days before the fight, it blew up in sparring, to a point where I wouldn’t have even been able to throw a shot with that hand on the night,” Bateson explained.
“If I had got in the ring that night and I hurt it in round one, it would have been a problem.
“And, Michael’s clearly a good fighter.
“It was really frustrating. I felt like it was my chance to come out from under the radar and get into the limelight with the fight being televised on BT Sport.
“It felt like it was going to be my breakthrough fight.
“But, everything happens for a reason and the breakthrough will come again this year.
“At the minute, the hand is really good. I got signed off a couple of months ago from the doctor and he said that the operation had gone well and that the scar has healed well.
“I’ve been back punching for three or four weeks now. I’m back sparring as well.
“I’m just excited now. I’m building confidence in it all the time and I’m sure that by April 3, I’ll be ready to let loose.
“It has been nice to have that bit of a break. It was nice to spend a bit of time with my girlfriend and my family.
“It has made me realise how much I do need boxing. Without boxing, I’d be nothing.
“Because of the injury to my hand, it felt like I had no purpose. It did give me that recharge to get back in there.”