Dewsbury’s Tony Aitcheson is hoping for redemption on his ring return, when he appears on the undercard of Josh Warrington’s English title defence against Jamie Speight at Leeds Town Hall on March 22.
Unbeaten in 16 amateur bouts and with a winning pro debut behind him, Aitcheson was forced to take a sabbatical from the ring in 2009 at Her Majesty’s pleasure, after being convicted of assault.
With those troubles firmly behind him, the 23-year-old is now looking to resume his fighting career and show he can still fulfil the potential that once saw him being compared to his celebrated stable-mate, former British super-featherweight champion, Gary Sykes.
“Everything’s better now; my boxing’s better, and I’ve grown up,” stated Tony. “I’ve made mistakes in the past and I’ve learned from them. Everything feels right now and nothing’s holding me back.
“I’ve been back in the gym for about a year. I’ve been training, keeping myself fit and just waiting for good news about having my licence returned. Training [for this upcoming fight] has been going tremendous. I’ve just done my last spar this morning and I’m looking sharp and ready.”
Along with headliner Warrington, Aitcheson makes up a duo of Yorkshire fighters appearing on the Leeds Town Hall bill. Looking like a sell-out, Tony, who doubles as a scaffolder, is delighted to be resurrecting his career on such a high-profile card and is determined to put on a show for his patient fans.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere,” enthused welterweight Aitcheson. “We’ve done tremendous with the tickets and it’s going to be a full house. It’s just like boxing at home for me. My first fight was in Bolton, but you want to be fighting in front of your own fans, that’s what makes this all the better.
“I’m very excited and can’t wait to get back. I’m just looking forward to getting in there and taking someone’s head off!”
Training alongside Sykes has proved inspirational for the former Cleckheaton Boxing Academy star. With Gary preparing for a March 15 English title shot, the pair have regularly moved around and big-punching Tony is convinced he can, one day, follow in the footsteps of his talented sparring partner.
“He’s a couple of weight divisions below me so we do technical sparring, which is great when you’re sparring with a champion like Gary. Seeing him win titles, it makes you want to be a champion too.
“I can mix it up. I can fight but have got good skills and footwork. Whatever I need to do to win I can do, I always find a way. At the end of my career I want to be a world champion. That’s my goal; that’s my dream, and I believe I’ve got the skills and tools to do it.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Tony back in the ring,” stated VIP Promotions’ head, Steve Wood. “He’s obviously had a long time out but hopefully he’ll be better for it. Big things were expected of him before, and this show is a fantastic chance for him to show what he’s all about.”
VIP Promotions presents Josh Warrington defending his English featherweight title against Devon’s Jamie Speight at Leeds Town Hall on March 22. The undercard for the show includes Dewsbury’s Tony Aitcheson; Liverpool’s Nathan Brough and Tommy Carus; Ashton under Lyne’s Jon Kays; Oldham’s Alex Rutter, and Dudley’s Ryan Aston.
Tickets, priced at £30 (General), £40 (Stage) and £60 (Ringside) are available from all boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk