Punisher aiming for positive out of pain

Josh Pritchard, right. Picture: Mick Young
Josh Pritchard, right. Picture: Mick Young
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Conor Chaplin's 94th-minute winner earned Pompey three hard-earned points from their visit to Stadium MK Picture: Joe Pepler

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JOSH PRITCHARD is aiming to bounce back from his injury blow with a superfight return.

Pritchard’s has been forced to pull out of his sixth professional contest tonight in Brighton with a hand injury.

The Purbrook featherweight was due to meet an international opponent over six rounds as he looked to extend his unbeaten record.

An injury in sparring has put paid to that match-up, with Pritchard, nicknamed the Punisher, taking the sensible option and calling off the contest.

Not being able to step into the ring is a source of frustration for the 21-year-old.

But there could be a substantial silver lining for him if he is to make a quick recovery, as is hoped.

The Shane McGuigan-trained boxer is hopeful he will be given the green light to box on stablemate Carl Frampton’s world-title unification against Scott Quigg on February 27.

That is a mouth-watering consolation Pritchard is hoping will become a reality.

Pritchard said: ‘I injured my hand in sparring.

‘It was my last spar so it’s not been great. It’s been a pain.

‘It’s a shame but one of those things which can happen.

‘The preparations were going brilliantly.

‘I’ve had great sparring and the gym is buzzing because of the Frampton fight.

‘It would be nice to be able to get on that show instead.

‘I’m confident the injury isn’t too bad, so I’d hope to be out again soon.

‘There is the hope I’d be back in time for the Frampton fight, it just depends if it’s ready or not.’

Being part of the McGuigan stable has given Pritchard an accelerated learning curve to climb since becoming a professional.

That has been boosted further by the additions of George Groves and David Haye to his team, who he now works with.

Pritchard is making the most of being around such esteemed company every day.

He said: ‘A lot has changed in the gym.

‘David Haye and George Groves are both now with us. It’s great to have them on board.

‘George is a real nice guy. He’s totally different to how he was seen in the build-up to the Froch fights.

‘A lot of that was selling the fight. Behind closed doors he’s very different – quite a quiet lad, in fact, a real nice fella.

‘He’s definitely a big talent and I can see him winning a world title. I think he deserves it.

‘He’s in the right hands with Shane. They are working well and gelling together.

‘I’m sure there will be good things for him in the future.

‘Haye’s a good fella and a very popular man.

‘He was good to be around in the build-up to his fight.

‘Hopefully the AJ (Anthony Joshua) fight can happen. That’d be amazing.

‘I don’t know if his team will want to put him in with Haye yet, though, I don’t know if he’s ready for him.

‘Obviously there is Frampton getting ready for Quigg, so there is media in the gym virtually every day.

‘It’s good being around it all and it will hopefully hold me in good stead in the future.’