A LEYLAND boxing ace is hoping 2013 is the year that he can make an impact in the ring again.
Chris Johnson, 31, had a frustrating end to 2012 as he was taking on Lee Purdy for the British welterweight title.
However, it was end in agony for the Buckshaw Village-based boxer.
He said: “I was training for the fight in Yorkshire at the former gym of Naseem Hamed the week before my fight.
“I was sparring then I cracked my ribs and I thought whether I could actually compete.
“It was a nightmare for me because I knew there were a lot of people supporting me and then I had to pay the mortgage so I tried to fight on.
“But I was struggling to breath which is what happens when you get damaged ribs.
“In the first few rounds, I did not do what I was capable of.
“Once I got hit on the ribs, it affected me and I could not go on.
“I got really down about it all and became a bit disilllusioned with the sport.
“When you crask your ribs they often say that you should be out for a few months. I was offered the chance to go on the Prizefighter series this weekend, but I did not feel ready for it.
“One of my mates eventually did it, but when you think you could get £32,000 if you win, then it means a lot to you.”
Johnson is looking ahead to getting back to action soon.
He said: “I have decided that perhaps welterweight is not the right division for me.
“I want to do the light middleweight category because I know how hard I had to work to get down to welterweight weights.
“In that division I think that I did really well to get into the top 10 in Great Britain.
“Now, I just cannot wait to get back involved again.
“I am working with my trainer Karl Ince to get back, and there is one big fight in February with a few local boxers on it but it is a bit soon for me.
“But Reece Fowler, from Leyland, will be having his first professional fight, while Jack Catterall from Chorley is also in action.”