AN absolute nightmare is how Lurgan boxer Stephen Haughian described the injury which has forced him to pull out of this Saturday night’s King’s Hall bill.
Muscle damage in his neck which spread to his back will mean he will miss the showdown with former World Champion junior Witter.
“I was sparring when I felt a twinge,” said Stephen. “I went ahead with my training and neck exercises.
“I woke up in the middle of the night with the pain but went down to the gym the next day. I tried to loosen up but it went from bad to worse.
“The muscle went into spasm and there was a lump like a bap on my shoulder. I was given very strong anti-infammatory tablets to get the inflamation out of the muscle.
“It’s an absolute nightmare. I’ve done 82 rounds of sparring and training has been going brilliantly.”
Stephen apologised to fans who may be going to the King’s Hall and anyone contacting him for tickets have been told he will not be taking part.
He didn’t want to go ahead with the fight and maybe have to stop midway through but he is hopeful he will be back in the ring before the end of the year.
“It was a massive fight for me,” said Stephen. “It was a great opportunity for me. Training had been going well but whatever way I threw a punch a felt a twinge.”
The pain became so bad that Stephen was even unable to drive.
But he is still looking for a showdown with the former champion Junior Witter.
“Hopefully we can get a re-match before the end of the year,” he added.
Victory over Witter would have given the Lurgan man a top ten ranking in Europe and a chance of a shot at a British title.
And another Lurgan fighter has also been forced to step down from the King’s Hall bill.
Ryan Greene was due to fight for the vacant Northern Ireland Light Middleweight title but has withdrawn because he has had a wisdom tooth removed.