Gary Fox has been out of the ring so long he admits people have been asking him if he had retired.
The Fishburn fighter has not hung up his gloves and is relishing making his return at the Summer Rumble on Sunday.
A lot of people thought I had packed it in, but nothing could be further from the truthGary Fox
Fox has not boxed in 15 months, since losing in a challenge for the English lightweight title against Kirk Goodings at the Metro Radio Arena in March 2014.
But he’s back and will face old foe William Warburton at the Stadium of LIght.
An arm injury has been at the root of Fox’s lengthy absence, but the all-action fighter has been back in Neil Fannan’s gym and is glad to put his “lazy days” behind him.
He now cuts a fit figure after admitting getting out of shape.
“I’ve had a couple of operations on my arm and I couldn’t really do any training,” he said.
“I couldn’t even go out for a run.
“What’s the point of dieting when you can’t exercise? That’s why I put weight on.
“But I got sick of living a lazy life, that’s not me.
“I’m a fighting man, I love a fight, I’ve really missed it.”
Such is his love of the noble art, he enjoyed taking a punch again.
“I only sparred again a couple of weeks back and it wasn’t the best of performances,” he said.
“But when I took a few shots, I felt happy, I was over the moon to get a bit of a fat nose!
“Fighting is in me and it was brilliant to be back.
“I couldn’t stay away from the sport – a lot of people thought I’d packed in, but nothing could be further than the truth.”
Fox has been handed a tough comeback – a third career clash with Warburton.
The Lancashire lad is viewed as a journeyman but he is a dangerous opponent as the 24-year-old explains.
“Warburton has a losing record but he’s always boxed on the road against the local man and there are probably a lot of bouts he’s really won but not had the verdict,” said Fox.
“He’s upset a few people along the way – if he fancies it, he can beat you,
“It’s a hard first bout back, some people wouldn’t entertain a lad like him first time back after 18 months, but I’ll just have to get on with it.
“Neil doesn’t like to see me in easy fights, he wants hard fights and that is what this is.”