Anthony Crolla trained Jake James has successfully undergone hand surgery, undertaken by leading specialist Mike Hayton as he gets set to return to the ring in mid-2020.
Super Lightweight James was due to compete in the Contender VIP, Battle of Manchester tournament, however, it emerged that the hand injury the highly-rated Mancunian suffered in his last outing last December required surgery. It was then organized by Mike Le-Gallez and Steve Wood for James to undergo surgery from noted specialist Mike Hayton.
James opened up about his surgery and the after-effects of his operation, "I was devastated to have to pull out of the Contender VIP Battle of Manchester tournament as I was really excited about fighting in a great tournament and I was confident of emerging victoriously from the tournament. Unfortunately, this is boxing and injuries happen, but I am very grateful to have a brilliant team around me who have taken care of my surgery. I have got to especially thank Mike Le-Gallez who has put so much time into my career and has helped me massively with his operation.
"I'm naturally frustrated as I want to be in full training. I am really enjoying working with Anthony Crolla. It's still a little surreal as Anthony is someone who I've looked up to for years and years as a fighter, and now he is training me. I want to be learning as much as I can but obviously, there are limitations currently with my hand. However, I'm going to stay focused and do what I can in the meantime and not blow up in weight and feel sorry for myself. That is what can happen in these situations but I'm going to stay focused and remain positive."
'The Jackal' will likely return in the middle of 2020, with big opportunities still on the horizon for the 24-year-old. James discussed his plans for 2020 as a whole post recovery from his hand operation.
He said, "I'm itching to get back in the ring. I can't wait already but I know I have to rehab my hand correctly and I will do that first and foremostly.
"I'm focused on continuing to develop, I'm 24 so I'm not in a rush. I have a great manager in Steve Wood I get top class advice from my trainer Anthony Crolla, so I will see what they say and I trust their plans to help me continue to progress in the professional ranks. Anthony has done it all in boxing and comes from a similar background that I come from, so I want to learn as much from him as I can and apply that to my own game and out of the ring too.
"I would like to fight for a title of some sort before 2020 is out as I believe I'm going to be a title level by then, however, I am happy to let my team decide on what direction to take me in and I will follow their lead. There are some great fights to be made in the super lightweight division at the moment and I want to be in good fights and on good shows such as the Contender VIP events."