EDINBURGH middleweight Craig McEwan returns to the ring in New York this evening unsure why exactly he has been snubbed by British promoters.
Since relocating from the States two years ago, the 31-year-old has had only five bouts despite building an impressive record of 19 wins and only two defeats in five years fighting out of Hollywood.
But McEwan hopes that his decision to accept a six-round contest against Dashon Johnson at the BB King Blues Club & Grill will help him kick-start his career.
The offer came out of the blue from his American promoter Lou DiBella via a tweet and McEwan did not hesitate in agreeing to the assignment, albeit he was told that he would have to finance the trip.
“I’m pleased in the sense that I am getting the chance to fight again and disappointed that I am being forced to return to America to get work,” McEwan said.
“DiBella is taking a chance on me, but he has remained loyal and actually promoted the two fights I had in Edinburgh, paying me and my opponents when there was nothing it in for him. I guess he must see something in me.
“But he told me that while he was prepared to cover my expenses once I got there, I would have pay my flight costs and that could have been a problem. But I am extremely fortunate to have a group of sponsors – P&D Scaffolding, IME, Kelvin Lighting and 2l Software Solutions – who didn’t hesitate in putting the money up to cover my flights.
“Without my sponsors I would very likely be labouring on a building site with my boxing career over. Ironically, no sooner had I heard from DiBella than Eddie Hearn came on asking if I would fight on his show a week past Saturday. But I had to turn him down as it was against Rocky Fielding, who is undefeated, and it was too short notice for a fight of that magnitude.
“But prior to Eddie getting in touch things had completely dried up. I had also contacted Frank Warren and he said that he would also keep me in mind but nothing came of it.
“I don’t know whether it’s simply a case that my face doesn’t fit or whether promoters consider me a high risk with little reward, as I’m a southpaw and a lot of guys would be reluctant to take a chance against someone who is half decent.
“It was not as if I was asking for the earth. I was prepared to fight anyone provided I was given sufficient notice to prepare.”
McEwan hopes that a win over Johnson, who has a patchy 14-13-3 record, will open doors as he tries to force his way back into the bigger picture.
But he doubts that he would prepared to return to the States on a semi-permanent basis, given that he has two young sons, Callum, who is five-years-old, and three-year-old Cameron.
He would, however, be willing to divide his career between Britain and America after revealing: “I am giving myself another four or maybe five years at most and I hope I can let people know I’m still around.
“Even though I am going to be fighting in front of only a few hundred the nerves have kicked in because I haven’t boxed since April and this is a crucial fight for me.
“It seems ridiculous after beating some good guys and sparring with the best at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym that I have never boxed for a title, but I am not giving up on my dream just yet.”