(MAR 14) Joe Ainscough will return to
big-time boxing in the Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II tournament in
his hometown of Liverpool on March 23, just two years after a stabbing
appeared to end his career. The Kirkdale Kid suffered horrific
injuries after being stabbed in an incident in Liverpool in April 2009
and was told by doctors that he would never box again.
Ainscough excelled as an amateur, winning
the ABAs in 1999, and had six wins from his first nine fights as a
professional but his future was thrown into doubt when he intervened in
a scuffle outside a pub in Walton. As he broke up a fight, Ainscough was
stabbed in his lower body from behind twice and suffered a punctured
bowel and bladder.
Two years later, he returned to the ring in Manchester on Saturday night
(March 12) with a first round stoppage of Iliya Shakura and steps up
from being a reserve in Prizefighter to take the place of Adrian Dodson
in the 17th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight-man, one night
tournaments live on Sky Sports.
“When I heard that Prizefighter was going to be in Liverpool I just knew
I had to be in it,” said Ainscough. “It's all come about at the right
time and I'm made up about it.
“I knew in the hospital after I had the operation to save my life that I
was going to fight again – I knew that within a couple of days and it
was one of the first things on my mind, that I needed to get myself back
in the gym and training to get back fighting again. It's been tough but
I've made it back now and I cannot wait to feel that buzz again.”
The 31 year-old toyed with the idea of becoming a coach immediately
after the attack but soon decided that he still had a future in the
ring. Ainscough says the physical and mental scars from the ordeal have
long since healed and he’s now focussed on getting his career back on
“It's nearly two years ago now and as for talking about it, it's not
something that I really think about it anymore or dwell on it – it's in
the past and I've moved on,” said Ainscough.
“I've got a really busy lifestyle outside boxing, with my own ceramic
tiling business that is doing really well and I've got two kids that I
love spending my free time with. I've dedicated two-thirds of my life to
boxing and I've been committed to getting ready for Prizefighter but
after being out for so long I'm not going to make statements like 'I
want a big title shot' because I'm just thrilled to even be here
Ainscough joins fellow Liverpudlians Robin Reid, Tony Quigley and Carl
Dilks in the line-up and they will be seeded in the draw which will be
made later this week. Merseyside’s boxing ‘Fab Four’ will face Sheffield
pair Wayne Reed and Patrick J Maxwell, unbeaten Welshman Tobias Webb and
Leicester’s Jahmaine Smyle in the quarter-finals.
Dodson was due to fight in a warm-up bout on Saturday night, but spoke
to the promoters beforehand to say that he did not feel he would be able
to get into a physical condition to do himself or the competition
“Adrian is a seasoned professional and a gentleman who has been honest
with us and himself,” said Matchroom Sport’s managing director Eddie
Hearn. “He said he didn’t want to disappoint the fans in Liverpool and
those watching at home so he decided to step aside. Adrian’s loss is
Joe’s gain and it’s a great story for him to come back into the
spotlight in his hometown after recovering from a life-threatening
Tickets for Prizefighter Super Middleweights II at Liverpool Olympia on
Wednesday 23 March are available from Matchroom Sport priced £30
unreserved and £100 VIP – to buy call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.