Queenstown boxer Richie Hadlow is restarting his professional career after a brain scan threatened to can it.
He’s lining up against Dunedin’s Ricky Curline in Christchurch on May 18, ahead of Kiwi Bowyn Morgan fighting Filipino Jack Asis for a vacant WBU world title.
A four-time national light welterweight champ-ion whose amateur career peaked at the Com-monwealth Games a year ago, Hadlow was due to make his pro debut in Christchurch last December.
However his fight against Curline – an undercard bout ahead of Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker’s clash with Alexander Flores – was cancelled after a brain scan revealed what he calls “a micro-bloom, smaller then a bleed”.
Promoter Duco Events had made pre-fight MRI scans mandatory after a Christchurch man died after a charity bout.
Hadlow says he got an all-clear from a neurologist early this year.
“Basically, [the micro-bloom] doesn’t increase my chances of any type of bleed or haemorrhage or aneurysm – it’s not that bad.”
It also hadn’t happened recently – “I could have hit my head when I was two on a coffee table”.
“The analogy I use is when you get a warrant of fitness, your car passes but they mention your CV joints are clicking.”
After December’s scan, Hadlow, 31, says “I had to come to terms with the potential reality that I might not fight again, so I did things, like I bought a house in Lumsden”.
Now he’s been cleared to fight again, “I’m coming back with vengeance”.
“I’m having the comeback before I’ve even started”, he quips.
“I feel sweet – I’m doing more [sparring] rounds than I’ve ever done.”
So how will he go on May 18?
“I’m ready to go – I’m going to smash this guy.”