Defiant Lee Purdy says a career-threatening injury has left him even hungrier for success in the ring.
The Colchester welterweight boxer has been sidelined by an eye problem which has left his boxing future in the balance.
Purdy, nicknamed “Lights Out”, is due to undergo a fifth operation on his right eye which was damaged in his last fight, a defeat at the hands of Leonard Bundu last December.
The 27-year-old, who is suffering from a detached and torn retina, will return to the specialist Moorfields Eye Hospital in London for further surgery on June 6.
Specialists are confident that Purdy is on the road to recovery and that his eye is responding well to treatment.
The former Thomas Lord Audley School pupil is hoping that his forthcoming operation will finally correct the problem – and secure him the green light to return to the ring.
Purdy said: “My eye has got better since the last operation I had but not quite the way they want it to.
“It means that I will need a further operation next month but hopefully that will be it then.
“We’re certainly going in the right direction.
“It’s been a really difficult time.
“I’ve never spent this amount of time out of training before and I didn’t think I would miss it as much as I have.
“But if anything, it’s made me even hungrier to get back into the ring again.
“If I’m lucky enough to fight again, I certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.”