DANNY COUZENS prepared to make his ring return and admitted: This is my last chance.
The Titchfield terror acknowledged he has to deliver as he tackles Curtis Gargano over four rounds at the Mountbatten Centre tonight.
Couzens explained he was heading into retirement after more than a year since his last contest against Joel McIntyre.
The 29-year-old ballooned to over 16 stone in that time as he stopped training and lived an unhealthy lifestyle.
But the man who has twice fought for the Southern Area title at different weights, has taken the decision to launch a final bid to grab a belt.
That has led to a long and painful training camp to get himself into the right condition.
Now he knows nothing but a win will do.
Couzens said: ‘I know this is my last chance and this is my comeback fight.
‘I’ve been out of the ring for a long time.
‘In that time I went up to 16 stone, believe it or not.
‘So it’s been really hard to make the comeback.
‘I’m boxing at 13st 2lb against him, so it’s a catchweight contest but the plan is to box at light-heavyweight.
‘It’s been proper hard, hard stuff since the end of August basically.
‘I wasn’t training and enjoying myself.
‘To be honest, I was going to knock boxing on the head. But I started missing it all, so I decided to give it a go again.
‘My last two fights were 10-round title fights which went the distance.
‘I have been under-performing and not training properly.
‘Now I know this is my last chance and I’m really up for it.’
Couzens’ past two contests have been over the 10-round distance at title level.
McIntyre took a clear decision in November last year with Leon Senior taking the Southern Area title the previous March.
The plan for Couzens is to work towards another title shot in 2015.
He has signed with promoter Steve Goodwin, who has signalled his intent to invest in boxing in the Portsmouth area.
That could offer a route towards a title against an opponent from his stable.
Former McIntyre foe Miles Shinkwin currently holds the Southern Area title in the light-heavyweight division.
Couzens said: ‘I’ve signed with Steve Goodwin and we have a bit of a plan in place.
‘I need to get this win and then hopefully I can box for a Masters title in March time next year over 10 rounds.
‘We want to box for the Southern Area title down the line.
‘I’ve trained properly and done things how I should.
‘I’m feeling good now – a lot, lot better than I did at 16 stone anyway!’