Ryan Brawley believes recovering from a career-threatening injury will motivate him to Prizefighter glory on Tuesday, March 24.
Brawley, 23, is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the £25,000 top prize in Barry Hearn’s latest all-in-one-night Prizefighter tournament, featuring eight British lightweights.
He has won all nine of his professional contests in a stop-start three and a half year period as a professional, one which has been blighted by two serious injuries.
“I had an elbow problem which was ongoing from my amateur days and escalated out of control,” said Brawley. “If I hadn’t have it fixed it could’ve ended my career. I had a bone fragment stuck in my joint and I couldn’t straighten my arm.
“I’d broken it in an amateur fight but it just got worse and worse and it was affecting me a lot. I couldn’t extend my jab out, block punches or throw punches afterwards.
“After each fight I couldn’t punch or lift things for a week so I had to get it sorted. It was just as if my career was starting and then immediately ending.
“When you’re an amateur everyone dreams of turning professional and going as far as you can but I thought it was going to be the end.”
Brawley had an elbow operation two years ago but has not been in action since June because of a knee problem, which also required surgery.
But he insists he has fully recovered and ready to become the first Scottish fighter to win Prizefighter in the first tournament to be staged in Scotland.
“It would be brilliant to win it up in Scotland and would mean a lot to me,” added Brawley. “There are only so many people that are going to win Prizefighter and your name will always be up there.
“I think I will win it and this is my chance to prove I’m one of the best in Britain.”
Four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and a final will all take place in a frantic three-hour period at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, with each contest lasting a maximum of three rounds.
Tickets cost £30 (unreserved) and £50 (reserved, ringside) and are available by calling 0141 810 5700 or 0844 395 4000 (24-hours). All the action will be screened live on Sky Sports 1 from 8pm.
The full list of competitors is: Ryan Brawley (Irvine), Stephen Burke (Liverpool), Stuart Green (Glenrothes), Paul Holborn (Sunderland), Charlie King (Motherwell), Gary McArthur (Clydebank), Ben Murphy (Hove, Sussex) and Steve Saville (Wolverhampton).
As usual, two reserves – Gary Reid and Damien Owen – will be on standby if a victorious fighter is unable to compete in the next round due to a cut or injury.