By Elliot Foster
Joe Selkirk recently announced that he was making a return to the sport –– and it left the majority of Scouse fans ecstatic.
Described as one of the most naturally talented fighters to come out of the city for nearly a generation, the 32-year-old excited the boxing fraternity by revealing on social media that he was going to give it another go in the squared circle.
Selkirk, after teaming up once more with MTK Marbella and confirming that he will continue his relationship with coach Danny Vaughan, was announced having been added to a show in his home city.
He will fight over six rounds, against an opponent to be confirmed, on September 30, exclusively live on Sky Sports at the ECHO Arena.
The card is topped by Paul Butler’s WBA bantamweight world title eliminator against Stuart Hall and features an all-Mersey lightweight title showdown between Sean Dodd and Thomas Stalker as the Birkenhead man defends his Commonwealth and WBC International belts against the former WBO European king.
And Selkirk is relishing the opportunity to get back under the lights.
“As soon as I knew I was going to come back, I knew I owed it to myself to make a proper go of it,” he told Boxing Scene.
“They then announced the show [being promoted by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing] at the ECHO [Arena] and that became my target.
“I hadn’t trained for two years because I had niggling injuries and my hands were bad, not for the first time in my career, so it’s been hard getting back into it, but now I can’t wait to get back to doing what I do best and punching people in the face.”
A winner of the WBO European title back in 2013, it looked like the former Rotunda amateur had the world at his feet.
But then injuries hit and his career became stop-start to the point where, back in February 2016, Selkirk announced his retirement.
Now, though, 18 months on, he’s ready to give it a final crack.
“I’m back not just for me and my family,” said Selkirk. “But I’m back for my friends and my fans who believe that I can go all the way to the top.
“It’s been hard for me, sitting out and watching my friends –– like Tony Bellew, Derry [Mathews] and the Smith brothers –– doing well for themselves, so I felt I owed it to myself.
“One thing’s for sure, the dream is to win a world title and I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t think I could achieve it or for anything less.”
Selkirk will be joined on the September 30 ECHO Arena card, billed ‘Battle On The Mersey’, by a whole host of others, including Commonwealth Games gold medallist duo Anthony Fowler and Scott Fitzgerald.
Natasha Jonas fights in her home city for the first time as a pro, there is action for Craig Glover, while Tom Farrell defends his WBA International super-lightweight title against Derry Mathews conqueror Ohara Davies and Rocky Fielding and David Brophy meet for the British and Commonwealth titles at super-middleweight.