Tomi Tatham says he’s been overwhelmed by the support he’s received since revealing he is to take a year away from the ring.
The Bentham boxer’s big night at the Manchester Arena last month ended in disappointment, an eye injury returning in his surprise first round defeat to Karel Horejsek on the undercard of Anthony Crolla’s defeat to Jorge Linares.
With double vision plaguing the 27-year-old in and out of the ring he has taken the decision to take a break with the hope of prolonging his fight career.
It means Tatham will now focus on his day job as a personal trainer, although admits he won’t a stranger at trainer Karl Ince’s gym in Preston.
“It’d kill me if I didn’t go down and see the lads,” he said.
“I’ll go down once a fortnight or once a week to keep my hand in.
“I’m just really going to go into personal training though.
“I had one message off a client who had cancer twice.
“She’d had chemo and lost her boobs and lost all her confidence but said that I’d helped her get it back.
“That did so much for me and I’ve had loads of people telling me that I’m more than just a boxer.
“It’s helped so much. The support’s been unbelievable. I couldn’t ask for any more.
“I’ve had messages from people I don’t even know, people I’ve never spoken to.”
The appearance on a major world title undercard was supposed to be Tatham’s big break and he is keen to take the positives from his first taste of big time boxing.
There were frustrations, his fight being delayed until the early hours as others ran long, despite the Bentham man having his hands wrapped and being ready to go at 6.30pm.
But on the whole and despite the shock defeat, it has given the heavy-handed light heavyweight the taste for more.
“I know I’m new to Matchroom,” he said.
“You’ve got to do the apprenticeship work as it were.
“I understand all that and it was a learning curve going from headlining a Steve Wood show to being a small fish in a big pond.
“I loved the public weigh-in.
“I knew I was on weight fine but my feet were shaking.
“They did the face-to-face and I didn’t know what to do so I shook his hand. I’m a nice guy until I’m in that ring.
“It’s all baby steps to the bigger one.”