FURIOUS Tony Oakey has vowed never to box professionally again after his big-fight comeback was cancelled.
The Leigh Park Warrior’s anticipated ring return against American Aaron Pryor Jr on November 28 at the Mountbatten Centre has been called off.
I won’t be boxing again professionallyTony Oakey
A contractual dispute has put paid to the showdown which would have seen Portsmouth’s most renowned professional boxer take to the ring again after a five-year absence.
Oakey was deep into his training camp for the meeting with the former world title challenger – and son of all-time great Aaron Pryor.
The 39-year-old has been left fuming about the situation, which has left a bitter taste in the mouth.
He now has no intention of boxing again in the pro ranks after the disappointment.
Oakey admitted he has been touched by the support he has received, however, for a show which had captured the public’s imagination.
He said: ‘I’m gutted. It’s a joke. The whole thing has been problem after problem.
‘People have ruled my life for the past two months – and it’s been for nothing.
‘I’ve been training like a lunatic.
‘It’s been lovely the support I’ve had.
‘It was brilliant how the community was getting behind me.
‘Everyone has been up for it and the fans have been right behind it.
‘Everyone was pulling together.
‘Gary Jones, from Leigh Fitness, for my strength and conditioning, Michael Ballingall, James Lee and the local boxers for my training.
‘There was Triangle Cars and Andicars sponsoring me. Everyone mucked in.
‘I was training my guts out and I was so looking forward to it.
‘I was looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong. Trust me.
‘Tony Oakey was ready to strike again.
‘That’s it now, though. I’ll never put myself in this position again.
‘I’m going to do a charity exhibition for a friend whose mum has been told she’s got cancer.
‘I won’t be boxing again professionally, though.
‘It hasn’t come off, though, and it’s frustrating.
‘It doesn’t look like it was meant to be.’
Oakey stated he now intends to throw his weight behind the talented array of professional boxers in the Portsmouth area.
Floyd Moore won the Southern Area lightweight title for the second time earlier this month, while the likes of Josh Pritchard, Mikey McKinson and Lucas Ballingall are being touted for bright futures.
Oakey is confident there is the talent in place to ensure more boxing success lies ahead.
Oakey added: ‘This scenario is now dead and put to bed.
‘What I want to do now is roar on all the other local professionals to success.
‘I want to back the other young boxers we have who are taking over the reins.
‘You’ve got the older lads like Joel McIntyre and Biola Kudus.
‘And then there’s the young prospects who have bright futures ahead of them.
‘There’s a lot to look forward to with these lads.’