DANNY Hunt said his triumphant return to the ring was a complete blur — but admitted he cannot wait for his next bout.
The Leigh boxer enjoyed a TKO victory over Daniel Thorpe at the Independent Boxing Union show at Southend’s Legends nightclub.
It was the first time the 33-year-old former English lightweight champ had pulled on his gloves in anger in seven years.
Getting the lowdown — Danny Hunt (right) in action with Daniel thorpe Pictures: LUAN MARSHALL
But it was a quick return to winning ways after referee Dave Redgrave stopped the bout in the second round.
“It was really surreal because I had trained for five months for the fight and I did not know how I was going to feel,” Hunt said.
“In the end it was all a bit of a whirlwind and was very emotional, but winning was the cherry on the cake.
“It was such a buzz being back and I couldn’t have asked for a better night. I’m hoping to fight again in July and perhaps step up the level of competition.”
Hunt’s return topped the nine-fight card and he was given a rousing welcome by the partisan crowd as he entered the ring.
Winning ways — Danny Hunt with his cornermen after his comeback victory
And the 33-year-old made a great start by throwing some good punches to put Thorpe on the back foot.
The Yorkshireman ended up on the canvas and receiving a standing eight count after being caught by a right from Hunt midway through the round.
Hunt maintained the pressure in the second round and dropped Thorpe for a second time when he caught his old rival with a left uppercut. This time the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.
“I noticed Daniel kept dropping his left and I tried to get him round so I could get him with a right,” added Hunt.
“I landed a right and then he was aware of what I was doing, so I then used a long left in the second and crack, he went down again and the ref stopped it.”
Hunt fought Sheffield’s Thorpe when they were pros in the lightweight division back in 2003, scoring a points win.
Triumphant - Danny Hunt celebrates his comeback victory
He said the main difference from those fights was that he felt a lot stronger now and was better prepared thanks to strength and conditioning coach Mark Little.
Hunt and Basildon fighter Sam Stokes are now planning to put on their next IBU show in the summer and Hunt has the bit between his teeth again.
“After seven years out it was trial and error and you don’t know how you’re going to get on until you get hit on the chin,” added Hunt.
“But I feel more confident now and I have got much more motivation and hunger again.
“I almost feel like an adrenaline junkie and I would like to headline again in July and perhaps step up a level when it comes to the opponent.”
Hunt thanked everyone who helped put the show on and in particular his boss Mark Mitchell, who helped with much of the organisation on the night.
- Big-hearted fight fans contributed £652 to Canvey-based charity the Danny Green Fund, which collected on the night in aid of children with brain tumours, on the night.
Danny Hunt (blue shorts) v Daniel Thorpe (black shorts), round one
Danny Hunt (blue shorts) v Daniel Thorpe (black shorts), round two