The pair were fighting in Glasgow when Scotsman Towell went down and died the following day after suffering bleeding to the brain
IT will be an emotional night in Wales tonight for boxer Dale Evans as he fights for the first time since the tragic death of then-opponent Mike Towell.
The pair were fighting in Glasgow last September when Scotsman Towell went down and died the following day after suffering bleeding to the brain.
Evans has described how he was “numb for days” following the shocking tragedy that rocked the sport and led to calls for stricter health monitoring.
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And now, almost eight months since that fateful night in Scotland, Evans will lace up his gloves and take on journeyman Kevin McCauley at Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.
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The 25-year-old was scheduled to make his comeback in March against Tony Dixon for the Welsh title, but had to pull out after picking up an injury in training.
The Welshman has spoken of how he spent “weeks in a darkened room” and there were “endless days” when he could not stop the tears.
And, speaking to the Daily Mail, he told of his fear over going to Scotland for the funeral – but how a hug from Towell’s mother, Tracey, replaced his anxiety with relief.
“I was just sitting in the house, locked away eating rubbish. My head was spinning – ‘Why am I fighting to entertain people I don’t know?’
“I felt responsible. We know the risks but I threw the punches. My missus hadn’t seen me cry in three years and suddenly I just couldn’t stop.
“I felt it was only right to go [to the funeral].
“But I was actually quite scared – I didn’t know what the reaction would be to me being there.
“I felt people looking at me, thinking, ‘That’s him’.
“But I was shocked by how supportive and lovely people were to me.
“His mum was getting in a car, but she saw me and came over and gave me this big hug and kiss.
“I was struggling to keep it together and she was saying to stop being silly. I can’t tell you how much I respect her and the whole family.
“I had no right for it to be about me but they were trying to make me feel better.
“If they hated me I would have understood – but what lovely people.
“We met at the funeral and since then Mike’s family have said that when I fight for the British title, they want tickets to support me. That blows my mind.”
Evans says the next step in his career is dedicated to Mike, and this has been demonstrated by having “Iron Mike” emblazoned on his shorts for tonight’s fight.
The Scottish flag is also shown.