HATTERSLEY boxer Luke Evans made a winning return to the ring after his pro career was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 25-year-old, in his first bout for almost 21 months, stopped highly rated Pole Denis Madry at Bolton Whites Hotel.
And the technical knockout victory in the sixth round extended Luke’s 100 per cent record as a pro to 11 straight victories in his first fight since Matthew Hatton became new trainer.
Light-welterweight Luke was delighted with his won against Madry, 27, who had previously won the Global Boxing Council Intercontinental Super Light title.
Luke, who was boxing a foreign opponent for the first time, said: “It was a very competitive fight and Denis made me work hard to win every round.
“I caught him with a short, left hook in the sixth round which left him wobbling.
“I finished it with three or four further left hooks before the referee stopped the fight.
“It was a pleasing performance. Everybody was telling me it was the best bout of the day and that I stole the show.”
Luke, who has been sparring with rising star Campbell Hatton, added he went into the fight in fantastic shape.
However, after being out of the ring for so long, there was always apprehension.
Luke, who has been training hard for the last 12 months, will take a break and hopefully will be back in the ring later this year or in early 2022.“With this performance, I am hoping to have moved up one or two levels and my aim is to fight for a belt as soon as possible,” he continued.
In the meantime, Luke will be supporting Campbell who fights at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday (Sept 25) on the undercard for the Anthony Joshua world title defence against unbeaten Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.
Luke and Campbell, 20, are both trained by former European champion Matthew and, as they are of a similar weight, spar together.
Luke said: “Campbell has the youth and I have the experience, and it is all about learning from each other when we spar.
“I like to think I can help Campbell and he has certainly helped me as we push each other.”
Luke admitted he is living the dream as a professional boxer having taken up the sport aged 10. He is stay-at-home dad to two-year-old daughter Sienna as his partner Stacey recently was a founder of Remembrance Community Funeral Services, the first undertakers on Hattersley.
He first stepped into the ring at Irlam Boxing Academy and had 42 bouts as an amateur, winning 27 before turning pro in 2015 with Gary Booth, from Irlam Boxing Academy, training him initially.
Luke then had a brief stint at Ricky Hatton’s gym in Hyde where he was trained by Blaine Younis before teaming up with Matthew.