Northampton boxer Kieron Conway to go under the knife for hand operation
Northampton boxer Kieron Conway is to go under the knife to fix a long-standing hand injury which means he is could face up to six months out of the ring in 2022.
The former WBA inter-continental super welterweight champion has been suffering with long-standing hand and wrist problems and it has been decided the time is right for him to get things sorted.
The 25-year-old Team Shoe-Box professional admits that the injuries have restricted his fight performances and training for the past four years, and says he is looking forward to once again being fully fit and being able to show what he can do.
Speaking to the Intu Boxing YouTube channel, Conway explained how his injuries have impacted on him.
"I have had some injuries for a long, long time and it has been affecting my fights and my training for four years now," said the former Kings Heath amateur.
"But because I keep getting opportunities I have been pushing it back, saying after the next fight I will get it done, then the next fight, but I definitely need to get them done now, they are affecting me too badly.
"I am in high level fights and now is the time to get it sorted."
Asked to expand on the problems, Conway explained: "On one hand it is tendons, on the other it is my wrist, but I have these problems for so long now.
"I just need to get them done, because they affect me so badly.
"I find myself pulling punches all the time, and I have no confidence to let my hands go at all, and I very rarely hit anything in training.
"I can feel it every single time my hand hits anything, and I don't even do pads to warm up or anything like that.
"I don't hit pads in training, no bags, and it is just one of those things I need to get sorted.
"It is no excuse for poor performance because it is my fault, I should have got it done a long time ago, but now the time is here.
"It is what it is, I will now get it done and I am looking forward to being able to get back in there and putting on real displays of boxing and showing my punch power and the heavy hands that I have.
"When I have sparring gloves on then pain is a little bit less and I can go for it, go through the gears and let my hands go, but as soon as I get those little pro fight gloves on it is a different game."
Conway will undergo his operation at the end of January, and he then faces a spell of recovery and rehabilitation before he can return to the professional ring.
There will be eight weeks where there will be no impact work at all, to be followed by four weeks rehabilitation before Conway can even think about donning the gloves seriously again.
His coach and father, James Conway, feels that means he may 'not be able to box until June', but Conway is hoping he can be back quicker than that - although he accepts he will have to listen to the medical professionals.
"I am getting them done this month, but I have obviously been out of the ring since early October," said the town fighter. "It is going to be a long time out of the ring but we will just have to see.
"As fighters we always think 'oh, it will only be eight weeks and then I'll be ready', but obviously there is the recovery time for your hands, then you have rehab, then you have camp so we will have to see.
"But I would like to get out as soon as I can, as soon as I am ready, my hand is ready and I can let it go with confidence, then I will be out there."
Conway was due to go under the knife early last year, but he contracted Covid-19 which meant he was unable to go through with the operation.
That meant he went into his big fight in Texas against Souleymane Cissokho carrying the injuries, and he was beaten on points.
Conway did bounce back to beat fellow Brit James Metcalf in Liverpool in October to take his professional record to 17 wins from 20 fights, with two defeats and one draw.
But the boxer nicknamed 'Too Class' admitted that he was unhappy with how he performed on both occasions, feeling his showing in his 2021 fights underlined how important it is to get his hands properly fixed.
And when he does, he believes he will be able to reach his true potential.
"I am not going to lie, I had two fights in 2021 and I wasn't at all happy with either of them," said Conway.
"The last fight, I have left the ring, got back in the dressing room and I was disappointed.
"I should be putting bigger statements out than that, because I know what I am capable of.
"This is another reason why I need to get my hands sorted, just so I will have the confidence to do the things I know I can do a little bit more.
"It wasn't a good year for my performances, I think I have had better ones in the past, but this year I am going to get some really good stuff going.
"I am going to make sure I am right and there will be big things coming from me.
"I am hoping to grab more titles this year, potentially the British title. Whether it be super-welter or middleweight, I am open to both because I am bigger than most of those middleweights anyway."