The nightmare of his defeat to Amir Khan continues for Oisin Fagan as a planned appearance on the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night at The O2 on March 21 has had to be scrapped.
Fagan suffered a broken leg in his defeat to Khan last December and despite having had his cast removed and returning to training Fagan has been told he will not receive medical clearance in time to fight at The O2.
‘The Khan fight was a nightmare and I just wanted to put it behind me as quickly as possible. It was a high profile fight and I felt embarrassed after being stopped in two rounds.
‘That’s all people saw on the night and it’s all people remember. Nobody seemed to be too interested in the fact that I broke my leg on that first knockdown.
‘Khan caught me with a nice hook but it was a punch that wouldn’t normally have been enough to put me down. It put me off balance though and when my foot turned awkwardly.
‘I felt my ankle doubling up underneath me and heard a sickening crack. I knew at that moment, that I had broken something but I thought it was my ankle. The pain was incredible, but I got back up to fight.’
On his return home to Dublin Fagan was diagnosed with a spiral fracture of the fibula with the doctors amazed that he had managed to stand up let alone fight on with such an injury.
‘Most people think I was nuts to get up and fight on with a broken leg but I feel like I have a heart, second to none and while it was very painful trying to reset my feet anytime he'd move, I had every intention of continuing for the whole fight but it was stopped and the defeat definitely goes down as the biggest disappointment of my boxing career.’
The prospect of making a quick fire return to action had motivated Fagan to return to fitness as quickly as possible and he was targeting a comeback on the undercard of the Bernard Dunne – Ricardo Cordoba WBA World title fight at The O2.
‘I was very down about the Khan fight but I knew that the best way out of that was to get back in the ring as quickly as possible.
‘After the operation the doctors told me that I could be out for up to a year which was devastating but I dedicated myself and worked so hard to put myself in a position to recover as quickly as possible.
‘I converted an old office swivel chair into a training device that allowed me to shadow box while sitting in it and I also took to doing roadwork even on my crutches. When I heard about the big show at The O2 I set my heart and soul on getting a place on that card.
‘I know it sounds crazy but in anticipation of fighting again, I had been sparring 8 and 10 rounds in training and running 10 miles on my roadwork days and generally training like a lunatic to get back in there stronger than ever.
‘The bottom line was that it was medical decision to disallow me to fight and even though I made the point that we're not all clones and we don't all heal at the same time, I guess the doctors can't make an exception to the rule for an (extraordinarily and) determined quick-healer like myself, by allowing me to fight just 3 months after breaking my leg.
‘Personally though, I would much rather hazard physical pain and scars to my body than having to endure these mental scars that I am now tormented with and when it comes to overall health, I think that these psychological torments are so much more difficult to deal with than cuts, bruises and breaks.
‘However, I don't blame the Boxing Union of Ireland or the doctors. Rules are rules and they operate to the highest medical standards to ensure that the boxers safety is paramount.
‘Truth be known they have been fantastic and extremely generous, accomodating and supportive since my last fight. Mel Christle and Dr. Joe McKeever in particular have helped me so much through the many troubles and obstacles, which have happened as a result of the Khan fight.
‘To be fair to them, their reputation would be on the line if they sanctioned a man to fight just 3 months after breaking a leg, no matter how miraculous my recovery seems to have been.
‘However, I was just so determined to make the Irish people proud and show them that being Irish, for me, is a deep seeded mark of resilience and something that has shaped me throughout my life.
‘This ideal is what drives me through the pain barrier every time I fight or anytime I am posed with a great challenge in my life. I remember where I am from and the courage and great tenacity that we, as a people are born with.’
Fagan will now target a return in May. ‘I just have to wait for word to be released. I was told that since I am showing great improvement, that they would reduce the comeback date from the original 12 months, down to 6 months so that means I should be able to get back in the ring in May.
‘I’m not going to stop training even though I have to take this heartbreaking news on the chin. I know at the age of 35, I am coming to the twilight of my career, but I am adamant that I have a few super fights left in me and I'm definitely not finished yet and I believe the underdog will rise, once again!’