“I WAS a bit lost and I wasn’t sure when I would be fighting next,” says Pawel August, who returns to the ring on Saturday (May 14) - his first bout since March 2021.

The excitement behind the Taunton boxer’s voice rises as he talks about facing challenger Ibragim Tsurov in Bristol - and falls when he reflects on a frustrating year.

“I’ve had issues with my contract,” says the undefeated Southern Area champion.

“It got me down not having a date to box. When you are out for so long it’s easy to lose motivation. It was hard to focus - but I made the decision to make the best of it.

“I haven’t had a week off since September. I’ve been in the gym all this time. Feeling sorry for myself is not the attitude I take. I wanted to be ready for opportunities like this.

“My last two fights were behind closed doors, so it’s been over two years since I've fought in front of my fans. I’m now really excited to be with my fans and to get my career moving.”

August has a perfect record. In three years campaigning in the light heavyweight division, he has defeated all challengers, held two titles and attracted the attention of Queensbury Promotions, one of Europe's largest boxing promoters.

The 24-year-old has also grown a loyal and boisterous fanbase on the back of his success, aggressive boxing style and approachable nature outside the ropes.

August credits his Somerset support, who are turning out in force for his homecoming fight, for giving him a boost after a year of inactivity.

“It’s been a difficult time not being able to box, then one night I sat down to sort the tickets out for this Bristol show and I saw that we’d sold 150 right off the bat. We may even do 170 tickets.

“I’m not Anthony Joshua selling 70,000 tickets, but for a small show like this, it’s amazing. Those tickets show that Somerset people still want to see me live, it gave me a lift. They still want to follow me, which is motivating.

“I’ve got a mixture of excitement and nervousness fighting in front of a crowd again. It’s been two years without fans. I don't know how I'm going to feel. I don’t know what to expect. But I know I'll overcome the challenge.

“I have a job to do and I'm going to put on a show for these fans and for my sponsors. Without both I wouldn't be able to live out my dream. Thank you for sticking with me. I can’t thank you all enough.”

August’s career is made possible by sponsors Brendon Roofing, Intense Nutrients, Growth Technology, P&P Auto Services, JMR Home Improvements, DB Roofing, Dudley Seale.