Dewsbury boxer Michael Smith is set for a remarkable return to the ring, a decade after making his professional debut in the sport.
Smith fought four times as a professional between October 2010 and March 2011 before falling out of love with boxing and turning away from the sport.
The early part of Smith’s career was not helped by two controversial points draws, although he was undefeated having won his other two bouts.
Having come through some hard times and lost an incredible five stones in weight since last July, Smith is set to be granted his pro boxing license back and looks set for a return to the ring in March as a middleweight.
Smith, who turned 28 on Wednesday, said: “There were a lot of politics in boxing, which took the fun out of it for me.
“I always had the thought of getting back into it but a chequered past and a stop-start career prevented me getting a trainer.
“I met my fiancé last year and she encouraged me to give it another go and having got back into training, I had a couple of semi pro bouts last year.”
Smith approached former Cleckheaton amateur teammate Saif Meskry, with a view to him becoming his trainer and the pair hit it off immediately.
Smith explained: “I hadn’t seen Saif in about nine years but I got in touch with him out of the blue and we hit it off straight away.
“He is about to be granted his pro trainer’s license and we have been flying in the gym. I honestly believe in my heart that I can win belts.”
Smith made his professional debut against Rick Boulter on October 9 2010 but despite appearing to have done enough to win, the bout was declared a draw.
He earned a first win over debutant Jason Ball in December that year but then drew with Ryan Clark in Sunderland, despite again feeling he had done enough to win.
His fourth and final outing saw Smith defeat Chris Brophy on points in Huddersfield in March 2011 on a night which saw Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes defeat Carl Johanneson for the British super featherweight title and a bill which included George Groves and Carl Frampton.
Nine years after he last entered the ring as a professional, Smith is now preparing for his return, with a March date expected to be announced.
Smith will give himself the best possible chance of success when he returns to the ring, having been allowed to train full time thanks to help from sponsors.
Smith has thanked The Black Horse Thornhill, Smart Barbers, Robinsons Groundworks, S&J Windows, Steve Kelly Window Cleaning, Better Bodies Gym By Simon Burke, VRD Remaps, Kelk Diagnostics and Overthorpe Sports Club.
Potential sponsors can contact Smith at www.facebook.com/mag1cccc