JOE AINSCOUGH has ditched his retirement plans for a return to professional boxing.
The 32-year-old quit the sport in March after his against-the-odds return to the ring in time for Prizefighter.
Doctors said Ainscough would never box again following a life-threatening knife attack in 2009 but, following a warm up bout, took part in the super-middleweight tournament.
Though calling time on his career after losing in the semi-finals to eventual winner Rocky Fielding, Ainscough is on the way back and is targeting a rematch with the Stockbridge fighter.
Ainscough will make his comeback on promoter Frank Maloney’s show at the Olympia on November 19, where David Price meets John McDermott in a British heavyweight title eliminator.
‘Kirkdale Kid’ Ainscough believes he still has much to offer and though the former ABA champion told the ECHO that he was ready to “settle into life after boxing” Ainscough says the desire to continue in the sport he loves never went away.
The family man admits he is desperate to once again be part of Liverpool’s thriving boxing scene and would relish the opportunity for derby clashes with Tony Quigley or Carl Dilks.
“I wasn’t at my best in Prizefighter, I only had five weeks to train and had to lose a lot of weight in that time,” he said.
“Since I retired I’ve stayed in the gym and am only 12 stone 10 pounds now. I’m in a lot better shape now than I was for Prizefighter, it was all about taking the opportunity when it was there.
“I feel strong and fit so think I may as well have a few fights while I still can. I’ll then see where it takes me.
“There are a few good fights out there with people like Carl Dilks and Tony Quigley for example. And maybe Rocky as well. Take nothing away from his performance that night but when you’ve suffered a defeat you always want that chance to avenge it.”
Ainscough has been keeping in shape at a city centre gym as well as training alongside heavyweight Price and his coach Franny Smith.
The 14 fight pro says he’s likely to spend time back at his old Kirkdale ABC gym as his preparations intensify for November 19.
And providing added motivation for Ainscough’s comeback is the example set by friend Courtney Fry, who returned to the ring for the first time in nearly two years on Friday night, at the age of 36.
“I don’t feel like I’ve had a beating or been hurt in the ring,” added Ainscough.
“I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Courtney Fry, a friend and old adversary. He’s 36 but has the frame of mind that age doesn’t matter.
“I boxed Courtney when I came out of the pros and went back to being amateur.
“We fought at Everton Park and he beat me on points. He was a really good amateur and had the style.
“He was one of the first people who came to see me after I got out of hospital and I’ve never forgotten that.
Ainscough added: “I spoke with Frank Maloney personally to get myself on Price’s undercard and he said he’s get me matched up.
“We’ll just work on a fight by fight basis.
“I feel great and have that hunger back.
“I still love boxing so what’s the point in giving it up when I don’t have to?” THE ECHO