Mickey Parker believes chopping the top of his finger off has made him a better fighter.
The 36-year-old, from Leigh Park, returns to the Indigo at the O2 tomorrow for his third bare-knuckle boxing (BKB) contest.
He will put his unbeaten two-fight record on the line against the experienced Nathan Jdogg.
Parker last visited the London venue in January – when he recorded a unanimous points victory over Scott Welton.
The heavyweight’s success was made all the more remarkable when he revealed a door had slammed shut and chopped the top of his right index finger off just days before the bout.
After defying the odds – and the doctors – to defeat Welton, Parker took a well-earned break.
But now he is back, better than ever. And Parker, who made his bare-knuckle boxing debut at the Echo Arena in Liverpool in September, can’t wait for his latest opportunity.
He said: ‘I just had to jab last time. I remember throwing one right hand and I was almost sick!
‘It has improved me as a boxer, though. For two months I was just jabbing.
‘All that work with my left-hand, it gets very repetitive and is something that has stuck in my mind.
‘Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise. Okay, the top of my finger is gone but it has shown me the hunger I have for everything.
‘I’m probably stronger with my left hand now than I am my right!’
Parker believes he is the underdog for tomorrow’s fight – which features on a 12-bout card to be screened live on the Viceland television channel.
But he assured his growing army of fans he will not be taking a backward step.
Parker, who is trained by former professional boxer and ABA champion Billy Bessey, added: ‘Nathan is bigger and more experienced than me.
‘He has knockout wins over some top, top people in gloves. He can’t be taken lightly.
‘But I’m confident. We have left no stone unturned and covered every angle in our preparation.
‘In previous fights, my opponents have pulled out just before but this time I have been able to prepare for him.
‘We have a game plan, we will stick to it and I’m confident of it turning out well.
‘I’m lucky to have this opportunity, so I’m taking it. We’ll go out there to entertain and try to make people smile.
‘Until we get in there and someone is bigger and better than us, we’ll carry on.’
Parker has once again been bowled over by his ticket sales for the card, which also features a clash between former MMA stars Mike Richmann and Marcus Gaines.
And he is relishing being a role model to the youngsters arriving in Bessey’s Leigh Park gym.
He said: ‘I was out training the other day and I counted 16 bibs. I’m not going to say I don’t like it because I do.
‘There I am, just a fat lad running around the park. But there is a real buzz about it now and I’m determined to make the most of it.’