After 18 months of injury frustration, Darren Traynor is back and ready to maximise a ring career he feared could be over.
The 33-year-old three-weight Scottish champion has recovered from a hamstring problem and is ready to gun for big titles again, to ensure he has no regrets.
Traynor, aka Trayn Wreck, will face Des Newton, 31, at lightweight at the Double Tree by Hilton Aberdeen Treetops Hotel on Saturday February 8.
It will be the first time Traynor has fought since losing by unanimous decision to former European champion Juli Giner in Barcelona in searing heat in June 2018.
Traynor admits injury frustrations took a toll during more than a year in the boxing wilderness – but now he is back and putting his heart and soul into the sport again.
He said: “I am out to prove there is still plenty of the Trayn Wreck to go in boxing. The injury kept coming back and I said to myself, I don’t know if I can come back.
“I was getting down, which didn’t do me any good, as I was drinking a lot and falling out with people, which just isn’t me.
“People who know me know I stick in at the gym and am healthy.
“My family, daughters and friends said to me that I am still fitter than anyone else around.
“There was just that ‘what if?’.
“I am still in my prime and still have a good few years left in the sport. I have the self belief.
“At least when I do finally hang up my gloves I won’t have any regrets.
“Boxing is my life ever since I started at the age of 15 and I have put my heart and soul into it. I give boxing absolutely everything.
“I train at least three times a day. “I am up early in the morning, out running and sometimes can be in the gym at six in the morning.
“I put the dedication and hard work into boxing – that is my buzz, that is my adrenaline.
“I had my ups and downs over the years doing stupid things when younger with drinking, getting into trouble and being stabbed.
“I have had a bit of a hard life, but we have all had a hard life. We all have skeletons in our closet.
“It is about getting on with it and I am glad I am back and starting to feel good about myself again.
“I can’t wait to get in the ring. I will not let myself off the pedal and start to feel rubbish again.”
Northern Sporting Club’s Traynor rose to the level of fighting for British and WBA International titles live on Sky. He fought admirably in both contests but ultimately lost.
The Aberdonian’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Spain’s Giner in summer 2018.
Despite losing in Barcelona, the Aberdonian was given a standing ovation by the partisan home fans.
There remains disappointment about the outcome and Traynor would welcome the opportunity to put that right with a rematch.
Giner himself has not fought for a year since losing a clash for the vacant European super-featherweight title to France’s Samir Ziani in Barcelona last February.
Traynor said: “Giner was fighting in his own backyard and I should have got the decision in Spain.
“If he wants a rematch and wants to come to Aberdeen, I will take him on and prove I can beat him.
“He is a former European champion, but when we boxed he didn’t commit much. It was more me chasing the fight and I gave it my all.
“It was really hot and I did not have enough time to acclimatise, as I was only in Spain for two days.
“If I was there for three or four days, I would have been a lot better and sharper. It was 31 degrees during the fight and I felt like I couldn’t breath as it was so hot.
“I have never sweated as much.
“It was like fighting in a sauna and I am not used to the heat.
“I am used to it being minus three in Aberdeen and raining when I am running in the morning, freezing.
“If I ever take a fight like that again I will make sure I am there a week before, to get used to the climate.”
Traynor’s first step towards a return to big-time bouts is a clash with Devon based-Newton, who has a pro return of eight wins and 12 losses. Following an intensive training camp at the Granite City gym in Aberdeen’s Hilton, Traynor is ready to return with a bang.
He said: “I want everyone to get behind me and support me.
“People like to watch me, as you never know what will happen when I am in the ring.
“There are always fireworks with me. I have a great work rate and when I am in the zone that is when I am at my very top. When I am in the zone that is when opponents should watch out.”