Anthony Nelson is refusing to take his eye off the prize on the eve of his long-awaited ring return.
The South Shields’ boxer knows one slip and it could scupper his hopes of a title tilt at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena in June.
This evening Nelson returns to the ring on home turf.
The popular 32-year-old (12-1) takes on Lithuanian road warrior Simas Volosinas in a super flyweight tuner up to knock off the ring rust at Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields.
Nelson’s next fight after Volosinas has already been made, with Babyface set to battle it out with Charlie Edwards for the vacant WBA Continental title on the massive Lewis Ritson and Josh Kelly-topped Matchroom card on the banks of the Tyne on June 16.
But he knows any slip-up, a cut or injury tonight could put him back into the wilderness.
“It is taking it away a bit from the fact I am fighting tonight,” he said of the press conference to announce his Edwards clash this week.
“But this is what it is and I was back home not long after, back in the gym and on the pads ahead of a big fight for me.
“I cannot afford any kind of slip-up or cut.
“I was planning on having a major relapse and having lots of cake, but I can’t do that now!
“I will have the Sunday off, but then I will be back in the gym preparing for this challenge.
“I will treat Saturday as part of the fight camp. We can’t take a step back, we must keep moving forward.”
Sometimes when boxers walk away from the ring it is because the fighting fire, which once burned bright, is extinguished.
Nelson may well have had two years out of the ring, but it was not because he did not want to fight, it was because the bricklayer could not find the time to commit to boxing training.
He hopes finding a local sponsor could change all that and allow him to commit to training full time and hopefully result in him fulfilling his potential.
“Ideally, I need a sponsor to back me up,” he said.
“That way I can get right back into full-time training.
“That would be a massive thing for me. I would love some backing from a local company or someone.
“The sponsorship is crucial, for the weight and for the rest, otherwise you never recover in time for your next session.
“Anyone can contact me on my social media – Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – if they are interested.”