Boxer Andrew Fleming has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday March 9 after he suffered a freak injury in training.
Fleming- who proudly hails from Wigan- was in line to compete in his first bout of 2019 at the next VIP Boxing Promotions show.
He had been working relentlessly in training at Astley VIP to be fight-ready and was well on track to make weight for his first six-round showdown due to his close work with nutritionist Sam
McKenzie. But the 25-year-old sustained a perforated eardrum in sparring last week, meaning that he is unable to fight.
Fleming spoke of his disappointment after suffering the shock injury .
“I’m absolutely devastated,” he said. “I was gutted, I can’t even describe how I was feeling when I found out the news. I did it during sparring- it was going well and a really competitive spar- but he’s thrown a hook, caught my glove, and it’s just hit my ear, and I heard a pop.
“There was no pain or anything so I didn’t think it would be anything too serious, but because of the loss of hearing, I went to the hospital to see a specialist and he said that I had quite a big perforation. It won’t even affect my boxing which is the most annoying part. I’ve had no actual problems at all apart from the hearing loss, and on the night that it happened, I still did four or five more rounds of sparring.
“The doctors told me that it will never affect my boxing so that’s a plus. I was told however that on the night, if the doctor sees a perforation, he won’t pass me as medically fit to compete so it wouldn’t be worth turning up on the night and wasting everybody’s time to finally get to the medical and be told you aren’t fighting.
“I think if it was right at the beginning of camp, it wouldn’t have been as bad, and we’d have been out a bit sooner, but it’s now looking like it’ll be a few months before I return to the ring.
“With coming to the end of camp, more or less all the hard-work has been done. My fitness was there, my weight was spot-on, but with three weeks to go, this freak minor injury occurs. It’s all the risks of the sport, but it’s very frustrating.
“As I was training with no issues bar the slight loss of hearing, I was tempted to just leave going to the hospital until after the fight, but you can’t risk it. At the end of the day, your health is more important.
“I’m sorry to anyone who has bought tickets or planning on buying tickets to come and watch me. If anyone who has bought tickets would like a refund, please contact me and I will collect tickets and refund your money. I’m gutted for myself and for them that I can’t fight.”
Fleming, who currently sits at 6-0 as a professional, is aiming to make his boxing return around May.
And he has vowed to return stronger and better than before.
He said: “I’ll make up for this one in the next one- no doubts about it. They’ll get two lots of tickets worth in the fight, as if anything, this is just going to make me more determined and work harder.
“I’m still going to be training between now and May, obviously I can’t spar until after my five-week post-examination, but after that, I’m hoping to get back to sparring and training properly.
“It’ll be a good night. This set-back will make me stronger, and even better than I’ve ever been before. I’m going to let this bit of anger out in the ring because I cannot tell you how annoyed I am after all this.
“The silver lining is that at least I can box again, and it’s only a minor injury, and although it’s big enough to stop me fighting this time, I’m not letting this happen again.”