Corby cruiserweight Simon Barclay is back and insists the best is yet to come.
Barclay has recovered from surgery on a torn bicep and returns to the ring in front of his Corby fans at the Best Western Hotel on Friday, November 3.
He meets former amateur rival Russ Henshaw over eight rounds for the British Challenge Belt and at 27, Barclay insists the best days of his career are in front of him.
“I need to get my name back out there and get back to where I was,” said Barclay, who won ABA cruiserweight and heavyweight titles with Corby ABC before turning professional.
“People have probably forgotten about me.
“I signed with Frank Warren and thought I had it made, but I had a loss that I didn’t think was a big deal, then I got injured and my career has fizzled out a bit.
“But now I’m back and I’m really looking to push on.
“I’m not in my prime yet.
“I feel I’m getting stronger all the time. I know how good I am and how good I can be. I haven’t shown how good I can be yet.”
Barclay revealed he went into his last fight, a six-round points win over Florians Strupits at the Best Western Hotel last September, with the bicep injury.
Afterwards, he had an X-ray that revealed the tear and underwent surgery.
“I could have carried on boxing with the injury,” said Barclay. “But it feels a lot better now and the break came at a good time.
“We (Barclay and wife Diane) had just had a little girl (Wynter) and not going to the gym meant I could spend more time with her.”
Barclay was dealt a blow earlier this year when Hall-of-Fame promoter Frank Warren decided not to renew his contract, but manager Jason McClory is continuing to invest in the former amateur star and has mapped out his route back to the top.
Barclay added: “We are looking to get the Midlands title, then go for the English and once I’ve got that, I will be back where I want to be and hopefully Frank Warren will take me back.”
The target is the British title, currently held by Matty Askin.
Askin inflicted the only defeat of Barclay’s career last March, a cut eye ending his challenge for the English title in Liverpool.
“Askin is a good fighter,” said Barclay.
“But I’ve got the beating of him.
“I was just settling into the fight when it was stopped because the blood from the cut was running into my eye.
“I have to get back to that level and once I’m there, I will fight anyone. I proved that by fighting Askin at two weeks’ notice.”
The show is currently being finalised and the hope is that Corby welterweight Darren Murray and Kettering welterweight Domenic Specchio will both feature.
Tickets are available from 07967 646016.