FAMILY heartache will provide the inspiration for Joel McIntyre’s English title assault.
The Leigh Park light-heavyweight steps into the ring with old foe Miles Shinkwin in Portsmouth next Saturday.
It will be one of the biggest contests the city has seen in recent years, after Shinkwin edged a success between the pair in London two years ago.
McIntyre will step into the ring with the memory of his hero driving him on.
The 28-year-old is mourning the loss of his grandfather, Albert Williams, who died recently at the age of 85.
Williams, who was buried on Thursday, was the man who fired McIntyre’s passion for boxing.
And a conversation with his grandfather in his final days will ensure the 14-1 man steps into the ring more determined than ever against Shinkwin.
McIntyre said: ‘It’s going to be an emotional fight with what’s happened.
‘My grandad has been like my dad and was the man who got me into boxing. He loved boxing.
‘I know he would have told me to go for it and not to worry about him.
‘I know he would’ve told me to focus on what I have to do. So I can’t let him down.
‘I’ve been cracking on because I’ve got a job to do, but it’s an emotional thing.
‘He was constantly asking me about how I’d got on in this fight because of the dementia he had. He was obsessed with it.
‘A week or so before he died he was not very responsive and he opened his eyes to me.
‘I told him that I’d won the fight and I was champion.
‘It put a massive smile on his face and I could see he was settled after that moment. I’d never tell him a lie – so that’s why I have to win the title.’