When super featherweight fighter Joshua Holmes threatens to ‘beat you with his hands tied behind his back’, he really means it.
The 23-year-old didn’t let his damaged hands hold him back against Scandanavian southpaw Edward Bjorklund at Colne Municipal Hall as he picked up win number three as a professional.
The Phoenix Camp prospect, who had coach Robert Rimmer and manager Kevin Maree in his corner, had to grit his teeth and think outside the box to prevail in his latest four-rounder.
Holmes was unable to use his right hand after sustaining a suspected hairline fracture midway through the second stanza, an injury which inflicted excruciating pain, and he grimmaced whenever he connected with his left due to the severe bruising and swelling on the knuckles.
With his pain threshold tested to its limits, the former Eastburn ABC boxer was forced to put his best foot forward, leading his Swedish opponent a merry dance, before triumphing 40-36 on the referee’s scorecard.
With the tools of his trade becoming redundant for more than seven minutes, he said: “I was happy with the performance, but my hands went in the second round.
“My right hand went first and then my left. After the first round I couldn’t really punch. I didn’t throw a single back hand after the second round, but I still got a comfortable win.
“In the third round I went out southpaw and just threw my left. I’m able to switch so I was still able to throw that big left while working the jab in an orthodox stance.
“It was working well in southpaw, but it’s just annoying really because I felt like it could have been a much bigger performance.
“A win is a win, but I would have preferred to put on a better performance. I just did what I had to do, I stayed composed. In the last round I was literally just moving away because I was in that much agony.”
Holmes, who will pay Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr David Murray a visit at Euxton Hall Hospital to get a prognosis, added: “Other fighters might have got caught, but luckily I can get away from those situations. I still looked good.
“I caught him with some big shots, I felt like I was hurting him before my hands went, but then everything went out of the window.
“I was just warming in to it so it’s just a shame I didn’t get to finish it in better style. However, it was a win, which is what’s important.”