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Steve Saville's back from the brink

Wolverhampton | Sport | Published:

Wolverhampton lightweight Steve Saville has vowed never to gamble with his health again in his attempts to save his career.

Wolverhampton lightweight Steve Saville has vowed never to gamble with his health again in his attempts to save his career.

Saville is looking to return to the ring in the winter and, with talks on-going to strike a deal with his former promoters 'First Team,' could defend his Midlands title on a hometown bill at the Civic Hall in late November.

A fight in Belgium, 10-rounds against WBC Youth Intercontinental champion Jean Pierre Bauwens, has also been put to him.

'The Wednesfield Bomber' has not been seen or heard of since mysteriously pulling out of a crack at International Masters light welterweight champion and former Birmingham City footballer Curtis Woodhouse at two days notice in April, with the reason given by promoters that he had simply failed to make the weight.

Now Saville, speaking from a fund-raiser for Walsall Hospice at the re-opened club house of Willenhall Football Club on Noose Lane last night, has revealed the real reasons behind his absence.

The 33-year-old spent a night in New Cross Hospital, after wife Lyndsey called an ambulance to their Wednesfield home after Saville starting experiencing severe cramp.

But that's what happens when you drop 18 pounds in three days for a fight.

He explained: "My stomach just knotted up, it was terrible. They put me on a drip and everything, just to get some glucose in me.

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"The doctors told me not to fight and, this time, I didn't. It opened my eyes and made me realise it was own stupidity that got me there. I have got a wife and two lovely kids, so it's not just me that I need to think about.

"The top promoters in this country offer me brilliant money to take short notice fights, but I am settled now and I am not doing that anymore.

"I will jump in the ring with anyone, it doesn't bother me, but I want six weeks notice before every fight.

"I am having one last crack but I am not going to be stupid, because no-one has ever put a punch on my jaw and knocked me out."

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It has been a tale of woe for Saville over the past 18 months, just as his career was starting to look up after winning the area title with a stunning seventh-round stoppage of Baz Carey in November 2008.

That put a belt around his waist just five months after returning to the ring from a six-year absence, earning him a spot in the first-ever lightweight Prizefighter the following March.

But defeat in the first round to Gary McArthur - who is now being lined up to face Walsall's English champion Martin Gethin in a British title eliminator - sowed seeds of what was to come.

Even after that an English title fight with Scott Lawton was being lined up but didn't come off, leaving Saville with the short straw - a 10-rounder against Syrian journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi.

A clash of heads left Saville's eyes swollen to the size of a ball in the sixth, putting him on the back-foot enough for the last four rounds to lose the fight by a point.

Saville decided to manage himself after that but his luck didn't change, losing to rising light welterweight forces Frankie Gavin and Karl Place inside two rounds before Woodhouse was lined up.

He said: "The past couple of years I haven't been comfortable in myself and have been taking silly fights without training properly.

"It all started with Youssef Al Hamidi, all he wanted to do was headbutt me and, having watched the fight back, I won clearly. Losing by one point was a joke.

"For Frankie Gavin I had three weeks notice, I shouldn't have took that really, but I needed the money just before Christmas.

"I trained really hard to fight Karl Place, it was a good body shot that beat me but the only reason it hurt me so much was because I had nothing downstairs - no food in me or anything.

"Try it sometime, dry out for 36 hours with no water intake and see how strong you feel."

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