Hard work in the gym is part and parcel of any professional fighter’s lifestyle but Liam Hanrahan is exercising something else – his patience.
The super-bantamweight had been due to take on Jamie Speight later this month in a match that would surely have reaped big rewards for the winner. But unable to make the weight Speight pulled out last week, leaving Hanrahan without a chance to extend his flawless pro record until next year.
But he’s found his cloud’s silver lining – when he does return to action he’ll be fighting fit, fully recovered from the hand injury he’s since picked up.
“All things happen for a reason,” he explained. “Scott (Lawton, his manager and trainer) had been trying to line up a replacement for me for that night (November 22) but I got the hand injury anyway.
“I still wanted to get in there and take a match but the doctor said I needed to rest it for four-to-six weeks because I could have made it worse and been facing 12 months out.
“Scott’s an experienced man and he knows you just can’t try to fight with injuries so because I wanted to try he gave me the biggest telling-off of my life.
“He pointed out a long list of greats and said they got to that level because they didn’t fight with niggles.
“A lot of managers would have told me to get in the ring and get through it but it looks like I’ll be leaving it until the New Year now, possibly to get a fight arranged for February.”
The 23-year-old has impressed since joining the paid ranks with five wins out of five, the latest a points win in September over Valentin Marinov.
It’s no surprise as his amateur career – with north-west titles, ABA fights and wins over England internationals – took him to a victory in Cuba and a bout facing off against Olympic champion Luke Campbell.
And with those in the know predicting big things as a pro Hanrahan (above left) knows victory over Speight would have boosted his ratings further.
“He’s a very good fighter and I know it would have been a really good test for me,” added the former MBBC member. “He’s boxed for the English title and I know he’s fought for the Southern Area title twice so it would have been a tough fight.
“It’s doubly frustrating because I know a win in that would have opened up title opportunities for me in 2014.
“Five wins out of five is a great start for my pro career – you do start to think ‘I want titles and I want them tomorrow’ but I’ve got to bide my time.
“This postponement could be a real blessing in disguise.
“I’ve seen a lot of young lads make the step up but go at it too quickly, they go up too soon and rush into fights they’re not ready for. I knew from the start I’ve got to take it nice and steady, take my time and have a nice long career. It’s a long-term plan, I know Scott won’t rush things, he’s too smart for that.
“For now I’m keeping things ticking over in the gym, working on technical things as well as my strength and conditioning.
“I’ve been back to the textbook, getting back to basics. It’s not like work, I’m still learning every day in a great environment, working with lads in the gym who are hungry for success.”