Boxer Sam Larkin facing anxious wait to see if he can resume his career

Former Sandygate ABC fighter Sam Larkin (right)
Former Sandygate ABC fighter Sam Larkin (right)

Super featherweight Sam Larkin faces an anxious wait to hear whether he’ll be able to fight again after results of an MRI scan revealed an abnormality on part of his brain.

The former Sandygate ABC man underwent the regulatory check up ahead of his fourth professional contest, but the 28-year-old confirmed that his future is now in the hands of a specialist.

The tests at the Manchester Institute of Heath and Performance detected a shadow, which required further investigation, meaning that his bout with George Brennan at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe was removed from the card.

Having been scheduled to fight on Sunday, he said: “I’m devastated and I can’t actually believe it’s happening. I’ll stay positive and hope it’s nothing.

“I can’t believe everything can be taken away just like that. Praying that everything is okay for me to fight again, but my health comes first.”

On renewing his boxing license the Elite athlete, coached by Alex Matvienko in Bolton, had made the decision to live the rest of his career out on the road.

The former Park High School pupil had been weighted down with the stress of trying to sell tickets for home shows at Colne Municipal Hall and King George’s Hall and was eventually forced into submission.

His bout with Zimbabwe’s Taka Bembere, which had been scheduled for the end of August, didn’t materialise and his enthusiasm started to wane.

Larkin, who had a loss to Jamie Quinn sandwiched in-between Ricky Leach and Luke Fash, said: “I’ve decided to hit the road, there was a lot of stuff interfering with my last camp and it all boiled down to ticket sales.

“I was under immense pressure to line everybody else’s pockets. Everybody was getting paid before me and I was getting stressed with it all.

“I’m nearly 30. I want to go out and enjoy my career, have hard fights and get paid, win or lose.

“As a professional boxer you always have too many things on your mind, you’re trying to keep too many plates spinning. When I left training all I was thinking about was selling tickets.

“I don’t want to waste time selling tickets, I just want to train hard and have a good bust up. I want to be in tough fights.”

Matvienko has thrown Larkin in with a multitude of top class operators during his numerous training camps, including Sean McGoldrick, Premier Boxing’s Zohaib Mehrban, Liam Gaynor, Abdul Khan, Mikey Young and UFC star Pietro Menga.

And the 130lb pugilist is demanding that the challenge he faces in sparring is reflected in the match-making going forward.

“I just want to get out on the road and enjoy being a part of the sport I love,” said Larkin. “I didn’t want to leave it too late because I’m not 21. I can still get noticed and I can still win titles by doing it this way.

“I’m boxing talented opponents, future prospects, I’ll be learning all the time, and now it’s up to me to prove that I’m good enough. I’ve turned professional late on so this is a win-win scenario for me.

“I don’t want a journeyman to tuck up in front of me and take shots. I’m ready for that challenge. This is how we’ll find out just how good I am.

“By taking this route I’m already getting fast tracked. I’ve been offered three fights against three big prospects and I’m going to take them.

“It doesn’t matter who I step in to the ring with, I’m not going to get beat up. I’m better than your average boxer, I can take shots and give them out, I’m entertaining to watch.

“I still have that ambition to win a belt, but I’m realistic. I know I’m not going to take on the world, I’m not going to be world champion, since turning pro I’ve come to understand just how much talent there is in this country alone.

“You’ve got to be very special to even reach British level. I’d still like to win an area title, that would mean everything to me.”