Kirkby boxer Jay won’t let injury hold him back

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Kirkby Amateur Boxing Club member Jay Lapko has refused to let a career-threatening injury hold him back, writes David Staham.

Jay, recently crowned East Midlands champion in his weight category, was out of action throughout the summer having suffered serious injuries to both shoulders.

But following treatment from former Mansfield Town physio Barry Statham, Jay recently made his come-back on an amateur boxing show in Birmingham, where he was unlucky to lose on points.

Kirkby head coach Richard Wheldon said: “Despite Jay having only had three weeks’ training we entered him into the Amateur Boxing Association’s Senior Novices tournament at 63kg.

“He lost to Kacey Benjamin of East Side Boxing Gym, a good boxer who had lost only one of his nine bouts.

“But Jay’s performance was fantastic. His fitness and timing was slightly off because of the lack of training but he boxed out of his skin and I thought it was a 50-50 fight.

“There was some people who said to me that they weren’t sure who had won because it was that close.”

Added Jay: “I thought I did OK. It was a great experience. My shoulders didn’t hurt throughout and I’m hoping to have a lot more bouts this season. I feel back to my best and I’ve been having some great sparring.

“I want to thank Richard for his time, he’s a great coach and friend and also a big thanks to Barry who’s done a fantastic job.”