Team Wiseman's Joel McIntyre is back and hungrier than ever before to deliver boxing ambitions

Joel McIntyre is on a mission to make up for lost time as he closes in on his long-awaited ring return.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 21st October 2021, 8:28 am
Joel McIntyre returns to the ring this weekend
Joel McIntyre returns to the ring this weekend

It was December 2018 when the Leigh Park light heavyweight was done with boxing 'with good riddance' following defeat to Miles Shinkwin as the pair battled it out for the vacant English title at York Hall.

But now, nearly three years after calling time on his career, McIntyre is returning hungrier than ever before and headlining the 'Pompey Assemble' South Parade Pier homecoming show this Saturday when he comes up against Lewis van Poetsch.

Indeed, it's quite the comeback story for the 33-year-old – now based in Chichester – who went the best part of the year without putting on a pair of gloves having turned his back on the sport.

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But after some serious 'soul-searching, deep thought and a lot of dark days' – and deleting his social media – something clicked for the former English light heavyweight title holder.

And McIntyre is now back with bolder aims than ever before as he prepares to give boxing one final crack.

He said: ‘It’s a bit cliché, but unfinished business (reason for return). There was too much stuff left undone and it would just be criminal to leave it like I did.

‘I couldn’t just live my life forever an underachiever - Pompey’s biggest underachiever - I didn’t want to be that.

‘I’ve got a mission, got a plan, got goals and that’s what we’re putting into play, we’re putting the plan into action.

‘I’ll be honest, I was fed up with boxing so much I deleted all of my Instagram boxing stuff, I didn’t put on a pair of gloves for about a year - didn’t hit anything for about a year - I was totally done with it.

‘I always stay fit and stay in the gym so I focused on doing weights, this and that, that’s my passion to stay fit and healthy, but boxing was gone for about a year and with good riddance.

‘It’s kind of like that toy you’re not playing with, it’s not until everyone is playing with that toy you want to play with it again, there was a lot of soul-searching, a lot of dark days and a lot of deep thought and a lot of convincing the missus because she was not happy with it (coming back to boxing).’

McIntyre made it clear he is not back in the game just to cruise through the remainder of his career, though.

With the Team Wiseman fighter now nearing his mid-30s, he's fully aware time is not on his side.

That's why McIntyre is eyeing up regaining his English title - potentially before the year is out - and progressing towards putting himself in the British title picture where he was earlier in his career.

He said: ‘I’m pretty clear and open with my goals, preferably before the end of the year, I’d love to be fighting for my English title again - that would be an ideal end to the year and the perfect Christmas.

‘I was so close to the British title back in 2016, but things for one thing or another just didn’t work out, I want to put that right.

‘If I do what I can do and make the impact I’m meant to then anything can happen.’