Published: 06:00, 17 August 2019
Neil Parry admits he considered quitting boxing as he endured a year away from the ring due to injury.
The Canterbury professional fractured his eye socket in a draw with Teodor Nikolov back in May 2017 on the back of losing to Dwayne Sheldon in his first career defeat.
Having disregarded his fitness and started to contemplate his future in the sport, Parry joined forces with a new trainer in Billy Rumbol as the first step on his comeback trail.
He has since won three successive bouts, the latest being against Fonz Alexander, and is now gearing up to face Vasile Nedelcu next month.
“It wasn’t the best time in my career at all,” admitted Parry, looking back.
“The injury left me out the ring for about a year. That was quite difficult to deal with, throughout that year. I had it in my head that I was going to pack up boxing and focus on my outside life.
“But then I decided to go back into training, I teamed up with my new trainer Billy Rumbol in Sittingbourne and got everything back on track.
“To be honest, I was quite down and deflated about it and I ballooned up in weight, I boxed at 68kilos and ended up putting on 20kilos of weight.
“I was walking around completely de-motivated. I went along with my new trainer to see if I could get the love back for the sport and from that first session I didn’t really look back.
“I lost 21kilos of weight and got back down to fighting weight, now I’m in the gym every day training hard.”
Lost time has proven a catalyst for Parry, who in now embracing the gruelling aspects of training that he had previously shirked.
He added: “When I went 3-0 I almost thought I’d made it and almost got a bit too ahead of myself.
“I thought I could turn up and do the job without a great deal of preparation. I started to go into camp heavy, I didn’t give myself as long a preparation time as I was used to and I really paid the price for that in my loss and draw.
“It was an eye-opener for me.
“When I teamed up with my new coach he said ‘I’m happy to train you and I want to see you do well but there are things we have got to change’ and I took everything on board.”
Parry is scheduled to fight the unbeaten Nedelcu at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on September 21 in what will mark his first six-rounder.
“I walk into camp now practically on weight, I take my diet seriously, I take my training seriously,” he said.
“I love boxing but the road work and the strength work is my least favourite thing so it was something I neglected.
“Now I take that in my stride, I run three or four times a week along with my strength and conditioning as well.
“I’m acting like a professional boxer now rather than somebody who turned up and thought he was better than he was really.”
His latest challenge will also see him drop down to 10 stone as he looks to capitalise on his welterweight-standard height and build.
The 25-year-old is hoping another win will take him one step closer towards an eliminator for the Southern Area title and a shot at the English title after that.
Tickets for Parry’s next fight are £40. Contact him at email@example.com for more details.