Tomi Tatham has revealed the stark reality behind his decision to take a step away from boxing.
The popular Bentham light-heavyweight is to take a year out on medical advice having battled an eye problem.
It first came to light when sparring world contender Erik Skoglund in Sweden in April last year.
The 27-year-old thought the problem had settled after 12 months out of the ring but he was blighted by double vision as he suffered a shock first round defeat to Karel Horejsek at the Manchester Arena on March 25.
Rather than fight on, TNT will see where he is next year, as he puts his health and future first, with the pursuit of major titles having to take a back seat.
“I love boxing and I love what I can achieve in it but I’m quite lucky that my eyes were really bad and they’ve healed how they have,” said Tatham, 11-2.
“They’re not great but say they’re at 80 per cent now who’s to say if I fight again that they won’t go down to 70 per cent?
“The first three months of having that double vision was horrendous.
“I’d miss steps, I’d put something on a table and miss.
“If they say there’s a possibility it can go like that again I’ll just walk away from it for good.
“I don’t want to be that old man who won the British title but can barely see.
“I’d rather be someone people look at and say ‘he could have been something him’ but he looked after his health.
“I want to have kids and I want to have a life.
“I picked up my niece the other day to cuddle her and she’s got four eyes when she comes in close for a kiss.
“To see her properly I’ve got to close one eye and it’s not nice.”
This isn’t retirement but it is the only option according to Tatham if he is to ever lace up the gloves again.
“I thought I gave it enough time last time but obviously not,” he said.
“I went back into sparring thinking it was okay. I was a bit fuzzy after some big shots but it would quickly be alright again.
“I didn’t say anything to anyone because I thought I’d be okay.
“I wanted to fight.
“They can’t pinpoint it and they can’t guarantee it won’t happen again though.
“It’s a massive decision to take a step back.
“But I know that if I want to move forward with it I do have to do that and give it time to heal.”
Blurred vision is now an everyday problem for the personal trainer and fitness coach but he says he wouldn’t change any of his decisions.
“I believe everything happens for a reason,” he said.
“Last year when it first happened I honestly thought I’d never box again.
“I grieved for it then and looked into everything to see if I could have an operation.
“I wasn’t right for surgery thought and dealt with it.
“There’s no regrets. If I hadn’t gone to Sweden and done it something else might have happened and when I was injured I met my girlfriend. There’s positives in life from everything.”