Boxer Craig McEwan targeting British title in comeback

Craig McEwan has not fought since a defeat in New York in 2013.
Craig McEwan has not fought since a defeat in New York in 2013.
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Middleweight boxer Craig McEwan is set to make his long-awaited comeback in March and has already set his sights on winning the British title as early as next year.

The Edinburgh fighter hasn’t fought since defeat by American Dashon Johnson in New York in December 2013 leading to the assumption that the 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist had decided to call it quits.

Revealing he had toyed with the idea of giving the sport up for good, McEwan, now under new management, will attempt to revive his career at Ravenscraig Sports Complex in Motherwell in just over six weeks.

Having previously been touted as Scotland’s next world champion after signing a contract with Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya in 2006, McEwan was on the path to stardom having relocated to Los Angeles with his young family and even made his pro-debut at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

However, things didn’t quite pan out the way he had envisaged and, after returning home to the Capital in 2012, McEwan has rarely been seen having fought just six times in the past three years.

But, despite those setbacks and limited ring time, it hasn’t deterred the former Clovenstone amateur from setting his sights on championship glory once again.

“It’s been up and down but I am back full-time training, I’ve got a new manager so I’m 
going to go and chase the British title,” McEwan told the Evening News. “I’ve just got to keep my head down. I’ll admit I’ve made a few bad decisions in my career and I think coming back home from America was one of them. But I want to be knocking on the door this time next year.

“It’s been so frustrating these past couple of years. I’ve spoken to Eddie Hearn, Frank Warren, I’ve spoken to them all but they’ve just sidestepped me. It’s been horrible watching on the TV, guys like [Deontay] Wilder who is the WBC world heavyweight champion – he was on my undercard when I fought in Mexico in 2011! I said to my wife Sally ‘look at this guy. He’s sitting there as world champion and I’m doing nothing’. I’ll admit I did think about packing it in but boxing is all I know.”

Not even a four-year contract with US promoter Lou DiBella in April 2013 has afforded the 33-year-old with a glimmer of hope in the States, but McEwan insists a couple of wins back on home soil can provide the launchpad needed.

“I’m actually still contracted to DiBella and we have spoken about my situation,” he said. “He says it’s hard to get me fights over there but has told me to get a few wins under my belt again and that will get me up the ladder so I need to be active. I’ve still got a good relationship with Oscar and Freddie [Roach] and have been in contact with them so I’m using the contacts I built up whilst I was in America. I would love to go back over there but I can’t go over there and just hang about, I need to get my name back out first. I’ll be 34 in April so time isn’t really on my side. But I feel fresh, I feel 21 again. This has to be my last chance. As long as I’m consistent I can produce, I know I can. Hopefully, I’ll be back out at the end of April after the one in March and then just keep busy thereafter. I’ve been in the shadows for far too long.”

The rise of MGM Scotland promotions within the city had offered McEwan renewed hope of appearing on their Meadowbank shows with the next event scheduled for Saturday, March 12. His efforts, though, he admitted, have so far been in vain “I thought MGM was going to be an opening for me. I made contact with them but they never got in touch. I can sell tickets so I don’t know what it is. I’ve had so many messages asking if I’ve retired but I’ve never been away. It’s just getting people to believe in me again.”