Welterweight ace Rick Godding says his dream of lifting the Lonsdale Belt is the only thing that stopped him quitting boxing after injury halted his rapid rise to the top.
Touted as a future star likely to surpass British title level, the light-middleweight’s career came to a halt in 2013 after shoulder problems, and a subsequent spell on the surgeon’s table, derailed his ambitions.
Inactive for over two years, the 30-year-old – who is based in Preston at Karl Ince’s gym in Catforth – now makes his second appearance of 2015 when he gets a run out at Preston’s Guild Hall on Saturday on a show streamed live and free on vipboxing.tv.
“It’s been really hard having those years out, not just physically but mentally too,” said Godding, who hails from Blackrod.
“You say to yourself ‘what are you going to do now’ but you just have to keep positive and look to the future.
“I’ve dreamed about winning that British title, it’s the one that I want, and it’s that that’s kept me motivated.
“I’ve felt like the forgotten man of boxing in a way. Before I had my injury I was up there boxing on the big Klitschko bill in Germany and an Amir Khan card on TV, and things were really picking up. I just need to work myself back up there now.”
Unbeaten in 21 outings, with a draw against Rafal Jackiewicz in Germany the only imperfection on his ledger, Godding believes a shot at title honours is long overdue.
With current domestic main-man Liam Smith likely to vacate soon, and with Nav Mansouri defending his English belt against Sam Sheedy on July 4, Godding is eyeing future foes after his Preston ring-return. The only one in the current division that seems dangerous is Liam Williams, he’s the Commonwealth champ and picking up a good record. He’s strong and comes forward but my style would be ideal for taking him on.
“Hopefully I’ll get the winner between Mansouri and Sheedy.
“I think it’ll be a close fight but I’d have no problems taking either of them on. If the British title comes up first then all well and good, but the English belt is a great stepping stone.”
Steve Wood, kingpin at VIP Promotions, has produced an array of British champions over the years and believes that – with a bit of luck on his side – Godding will be another to add to his honours list.
“Rick is very talented, he’s a lovely technical boxer and is mentally very strong, which has got him through his long absence.
“The plan is to get him active and into title fights as soon as possible.
“We’ll look to get him a decent test on this upcoming Preston show, and then plan the best route for getting him back to where he was previously.”
VIP Promotions present an evening of boxing at Preston’s Guild Hall on June 27.
Boxers scheduled to appear include Preston’s Paul Morris, and Lancaster’s Tomi Tatham.
Tickets are priced at £30 (general) and £70 (ringside table, including food).
They are available from all boxers, or at vipboxing.tv and Eventim.co.uk.
Tickets can also be purchased at the Guild Hall Box Office on 01772 804444.