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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Barrow boxer knuckles down after injury setback

BOXER Liam Conroy has enjoyed a successful 2013 with three wins from three fights – even though he wishes it could be four from four.

The Barrow ABC product was set for the seventh bout of a promising professional career on Friday November 22, but he has been forced to pull out of the Coldwell Boxing Hot Shots show due to a hand injury.

Conroy cracked the knuckle on his right index finger during his hard-earned points victory over Gary Cooper at Bowlers, Manchester, last month.

The injury turned out be worse than the light-middleweight prospect had first feared. He flew to Tunisia for a holiday with girlfriend Melissa two days after the contest, believing the swelling on his right hand would soon subside.

However, after being pencilled in to appear on the Hot Shots bill, Conroy was soon forced to pull out of the Bowlers show after his return from holiday a fortnight later.

The 21-year-old realised something was badly wrong when he had to quit a sparring session because he was in too much pain, and when his trainer Johnney Roye sent him to hospital for an x-ray, the break was revealed.

The injury meant a six-week period without using his right fist, and comes as a blow for a fighter who has made good progress this year, after the shock of suffering his first and only pro defeat to date last December, at the hands of Gilson De Jesus.

Explaining how he discovered the extent of the finger injury, Conroy said: “It swelled up pretty badly and was very sore after the fight, but I was going on holiday with Melissa two days later, so I went on holiday thinking it would get better when I was away.

“But two weeks later when I came home it was still dead sore. I tried to spar at the gym but it was agony so I had to get out of the ring and Johnney (Roye) told me to go and get an x-ray and they told me it was broken.

“Even though it was still sore when I landed back off holiday I still thought I would have time for it to get better and I never expected to be broken at all.”

He added: “It’s just one of things. It means another two weeks without being able to punch or lift any weight.

“I’m doing all my technical drills and running and punching a bag with one hand.”

Conroy is now concentrating on making a return to the ring as soon as possible in the New Year.

“I’m just going to keep training right through as if I’m starting my training camp now,” added the BAE Systems employee, who is going to watch some other fighters in action in the near future – including those on the Hot Shots bill he was supposed to be appearing in.

“It’s a good bill, I’m pretty gutted about not being on, but there’s not much I can do about it,” said Conroy, who has also been doing some road work with his old Brook Street stablemate and good pal Ross Cooksey, who has some big amateur bouts on the horizon.

Reflecting on the progress he has made in 2013 with victories over Kieron Gray, Duane Green and Gary Cooper, Conroy added: “It’s been a good year. I’ve definitely made good progress.

“Considering I finished on a loss last year it has been a good turnaround and hopefully I can keep on getting better next year.”

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