Darren Hamilton is back in the ring next month convinced there are more chapters to be written in his ‘Rocky’ story.
Hamilton hauled himself off the streets to become a British champion – and now the 36 year-old wants his belt back.
Last year, Curtis Woodhouse, the footballer-turned fighter, took away the British light-welterweight title with a controversial points win.
Hamilton has returned with a six-round points win and faces Croatia’s Zoran Cvek in Harrow on Saturday, February 21 before facing Tyrone Nurse in a big fight.
Boxing bosses have paired Hamilton with the Huddersfield slickster in a British-title eliminator that has to take place by the end of May.
Hamilton said: “I want to get back what’s mine. That British title is mine and I’m coming back to get it.
“It wasn’t a great decision against Woodhouse.
“People who understand boxing know I beat him, but I’ve always been on the outside and nobody’s ever done me any favours.
“Even when I was the British champion, I still had to fight away from home. I’ve never been the fighter they’re trying to bring through. I’ve always had to put a spanner in the works to get anywhere.”
Hamilton’s is a great story.
He left Bristol for London six years ago, but ended up homeless and had to sleep in the gym.
He got his life back together, started winning fights and at just a few days’ notice, he took the British title from world-ranked Ashley Theophane in May, 2012.
Successful defences against Steve Williams and Adil Anwar followed before the loss to Woodhouse that, a year on, Hamilton finds hard to understand.
He said: “I watched the fight back on Sky and there were no punch stats.
“Why not ?
“If we had punch stats, everyone would know that I won that fight clearly.
“If we sit down and count the punches and it turns out he hit me more than I hit him, I will quit my job and do charity work for a year.
“I will do some work for the church.”
Future fights for Hamilton could include a rematch with Woodhouse or a third fight with Dave ‘Rocky’ Ryan.
They’ve shared two fights and Ryan has gone on to win the Commonwealth title. He defends the belt against unbeaten Bradley Saunders in Newcastle on April 4 and Hamilton fancies a crack at the winner – or anyone else.
He said: “When they are interviewed, all the fighters in my division mention other names, but they don’t mention mine.
“If they want it, they can have it.”
The show in Harrow will be screened live throughout Europe on Eurosport and also features super-featherweight contender Ben Jones and Elliott Matthews, the Southern Area middleweight champion.