Bradley Saunders has admitted his career could be over after saying he will not continue as “an average kid”.
The 29-year-old had dreamed of being the North-East’s next world champion but may not be able to box again after suffering severe damage to both hands.
I want to be number one, I don’t want to be just an average kid taking part.
His fists “went” he lost his unbeaten record to Renald Garrido in Liverpool last month.
Saunders was disqualified in the sixth round after headbutting the Frenchman out of frustration because he “couldn’t hit him hard”.
The Sedgefield light-welterweight has struggled with hand injuries throughout his career and has had surgery on both his left and right in recent years.
“My dream was to be world champion, but I’m starting to think that is going to be impossible,” he said. “I have two bad hands.
“I want to be number one, I don’t want to be just an average kid taking part.”
Saunders says he is feeling “deflated” and is suffering fluctuating emotions, one moment he fears his time is up but the next he says he does not want to go out on a low note.
“The doctor has said ‘Bradley, you can fight again, but your hands will go’,” said the former Olympian.
“Do I want to go through it?
“I will probably fight again, I don’t really want to go out like that.
“I want to go out with a win.”
Saunders says the pain he’s felt since the defeat to Garrido has been unbearable, even to the point where he has struggled to dress himself.
“It’s as much after fights,” he admitted. “Every fight I have, I always go a week or two not being able to use my hands properly.
“This time I’ve been helpless.”
Saunders is contemplating opening his own gym and says, whatever he decides, he will not leave the sport.
“I will always be involved,” he said in an interview with BBC Tees. “I could open my own gym.
“I’ve had three big investors wanting to invest in me, but I’ve never said yes and I’ve never said no.
“I need to speak to my family and my manager to see what we’re going to do.
“If they want me to fight again then I will have another go, but at the moment I’m feeling deflated.”