TONY OAKEY is set for a surprise return to the ring.
Portsmouth’s most successful professional boxer will lace up the gloves again next month for charity.
The Leigh Park Warrior is set to take part in an exhibition in Essex featuring a host of well-known names from down the years.
But the man who took part in some of the biggest and most memorable nights of boxing the area has seen, has promised there will be no comeback.
The 38-year-old insisted he will not be tempted back into an extended return after a decorated career came to a close four years ago.
After amateur success, Oakey went on to collect WBU, British, Commonwealth and Prizefighter crowns in 36 contests in the paid ranks.
He admitted he is excited to be boxing at the event which will take part at the Prince Regents Hotel in Chigwell on February 22 – and is sure to awaken some special memories.
Oakey said: ‘It’s all happening and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a chance to dust off the gumshield.
‘I must admit I can’t wait to get back into the ring again, but it is going to be one-off.
‘But I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea. There isn’t going to be a comeback.
‘I know a lot of boxers struggle to come to terms with retiring.
‘I’ve had my moments on that front, but I’m happy and getting on with my life.
‘We’ll be wearing headguards and it’s for a good cause, the Indee Rose Trust.
‘Hopefully we’ll be able to raise a lot of money, it will be fun and an occasion to remember,’
Oakey will join a host of boxers earmarked to take part in the charity show. Matty Marsh, Martin Power, Terry Dunstan, Mark Delaney are all earmarked to take part, and there are even rumours of Celtic Warrior Steve Collins being involved.
Oakey has been keeping fit at local trainer Michael Ballingall’s gym, and is planning to gain his pro trainer’s licence next month.
He said: ‘I’m happy to box whoever they want to put in front of me.
‘I still move about with the boys down at Michael Ballingall’s gym.
‘I’ve done bits with the likes of Garry Neale, Mark Coombs and Floyd Moore.
‘I’ve been staying fit and keeping in good condition.
‘I’m planning to get my professional trainer’s licence and will be doing the course next month.
‘That will be good and I wouldn’t mind helping Michael with his boys on a small scale, whenever he asks. I’m enjoying life and staying busy.’