SAM BOWEN INSISTS he is now back firing on all cylinders after being marked absent through injury and has recently removed the toil of manual labour from his daily routine.
The British super featherweight champion famously combined his boxing career with tough shifts at the Caterpillar plant in Leicester, which he now accepts left him drained and vulnerable to illness and injury.
A back injury initially delayed the mandatory defence of his Lonsdale belt against Anthony Cacace that will now go ahead at Arena, Birmingham on November 30 on a show featuring five other major title collisions.
Being gainfully unemployed has rejuvenated the unbeaten 27-year-old who reports a clean bill of health after being on the missing list since his successful defence against Jordan McCorry in March.
“I’m fine now, finally, and ready for it now,” said the 15-0 Ibstock man. “It was sciatica, which I had years ago and then I injured myself again so my back was bad and my sciatica horrendous. I couldn’t even train.
“I was off sick from work because I couldn’t do that either, but I am back to normal now and back at it, although I am not working now.
“The injury done it for me because I thought if I am getting injured and can’t train then I’ve got to pick one. I picked boxing and I have finally done it now so hopefully training should go well for this one.
“I only left a couple of weeks ago because I had to get better first before making the decision,” he added, also explaining that hanging up his tool kit and making such a big lifestyle change will enable him to devote so much more of his energy reserves into preparing for fights.
“It should make a big difference and hopefully I should feel a bit fresher in myself. Hopefully I also get the win otherwise I will be going back sooner than I think!
“I get more time with the little one and missus, but I am training full-time so I am still pretty busy.
“The way things were going I was just tired, getting injured a lot and being ill. It was because my body was being pushed through it and it was time to make a decision.
“I can get a job any time, but hopefully things go well for me in the boxing and I needed to put my 100 per cent into something.”
Sam Bowen v Anthony Cacace for the British super featherweight championship features on a stacked night of title action at Arena, Birmingham on November 30. WBO world bantamweight champion Zolani Tete defends his title against mandatory challenger John Riel Casimero and British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Chris Jenkins makes a defence against Liam Taylor. Lerrone Richards also takes on Lennox Clarke for the Commonwealth and vacant British super middleweight belt.
Sam Maxwell defends his WBO European super lightweight title against the also unbeaten Connor Parker from Derbyshire, while Hamzah Sheeraz will fight for his first major title at super welterweight.
Thrilling prospects Dennis McCann, Shabaz Masoud, Eithan James and George Davey also feature on the bill, along with talents from the local region in Nathan Heaney and River Wilson-Bent.
£250 – Inner Ring Hospitality
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor
£75 – Floor
£50 – Lower Tier
£40 – Upper Tier