Edinburgh’s John McCallum has admitted his boxing career is in jeopardy after a recurring rotator cuff injury ruled him out of Friday night’s Ultimate Boxxer II contest at London’s O2.
Light-heavyweight McCallum had been considered one of the pre-tournament favourites to scoop the title and a share of the £50,000 prize money. However, the 30-year-old old has been forced to withdraw after tearing the tendons in his shoulder during a sparring session last week.
It’s a cruel blow for the former International Masters light-middleweight champion, who had put his heart and soul into preparing for Friday’s knock-out competition.
McCallum had even made peace with old foe Leon McKenzie and had been training with the former Norwich City footballer – who had inflicted the Scot’s first defeat in the ring in October 2015 – for several weeks.
“I’m not going to make any rash decisions as it’s still raw but I do need to put my health first,” explained McCallum, who has amassed 11 pro victories since joining the paid ranks in 2010. “I am awaiting results from the MRI scans and will be seeing a specialist in the next few weeks. Once I’ve found out the long-term damage I will then be able to make a decision about my career.
“If this is to be the end then I have wholeheartedly tried my best. However, I do feel I could have achieved so much more. I want to thank everybody who has supported me from fans, friends and sponsors.
“This is an injury that has haunted me me on and off for the past few years and quite frankly I’m not sure it will ever heal. I feel I am jinxed. I’m devastated as this was my big chance to break through in the boxing game. I have trained full time and even took myself to London for this camp out of my own pocket.”
McCallum also revealed that McKenzie had provided him with the best preparation he could have hoped for.
“The relationship with Leon has been great,” he said. “The man knows how to get me physically and mentally ready so if I do box again I will definitely train with him in London. I really am sorry to those who were looking forward to seeing me fight. But I really need to consider my future in boxing as it’s really starting to affect my mental state.”