Now 30 years of age, the East Belfast flyweight had effectively retired but has decided to give the sweet science ‘one more rattle’ and prove that he still has a lot more to offer. Restarting his career, Wilton headlines the ‘Back in Belfast’ card at the Shorts Sports and Recreation Club on the Holywood Road this weekend.
A former British and Commonwealth title challenger, ‘Winky’ was defeated by England’s Charlie Edwards back in 2016 in a world title eliminator on the massive Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg card in Manchester. Visibly distraught afterwards, Wilton took an extended break to contemplate his options before returning over a year later when he picked up a win at the venue he headlines next month.
This four-round points win over Brett Fidoe, however, did not herald a comeback and an even longer break from the ring ensued. Again, the spectre of retirement raised its head but Wilton, a joiner by trade, was bitten by the boxing bug once again at the start of 2018 when he took part in an exhibition in Scotland.
That exhibition took place on a Prospect Boxing card in Moodiesburn, Glasgow – the co-promoters of Saturday’s show alongside Wilton’s father, Alio, and Boxing Ireland Promotions. It was a pivotal moment for Wilton who described how “a few fights had fallen through and I did think about wrapping it up at that time but I had a exhibition in January on a show in Scotland which gave me the bug again. I thought ‘why not give it a good rattle?’ I just thought about having one last crack at it and how I might live to regret it if I didn’t.”
‘A good rattle’ is a massive understatement from the talented and tenacious Eastside ABC flyweight who is back training with Panamanian Bernardo Checa and has British title aspirations at the very, very least. However, before he can even think of the Lonsdale belt or Commonwealth champion Jay Harris, Wilton must get through a very tough six-round fight at the Shorts.
In the atmospheric East Belfast venue Wilton will box extremely dangerous Georgi Georgiev. A physically larger fighter, the Hungarian slugger has already
fought two Dubliners this year. In July he gave upcoming Irish super bantamweight title challenger Dylan McDonagh a real scare before sensationally knocking out Prince Brady in the first round of their fight in London last month and will be coming to the Titanic City looking to cause another upset.
Wilton is keen to impress and compare, and outlined how “I have got the buzz back for boxing. I just want to show that I have got a lot left to give this game. I’m looking forward to getting back at it. I want to get rid of rust. I hope to do the distance and get rid of all the cobwebs and get back at boxing. I’m buzzing for it.”
The popular puncher, who tops the six-fight card, does not want this fight to be another isolated incident and is desperate to be kept active afterwards as he chases big fights, big titles, and big pay-days. Outlining his plans, Wilton noted how “I need a couple of fights before I get back anywhere near title level again. I feel I have a British title in me so that’s my goal for the short term. I still believe I have a big title in me before I do call it a day for good. I hope to have this fight then maybe again in January or February, but, with it coming up to Christmas, I might have to wait until February to fight again.”
Wilton’s undercard this Saturday features two debuts – Belfast super flyweight Cathy McAleer, the first Northern Irish female pro in almost 20 years and teenage Larne super feather Kelvin McDonald – as well as Antrim cruiserweight Conor Cooke, Belfast welterweight Tony Nellins, Scottish cruiserweight David Jamieson, and the long-awaited return of Lenadoon cruiser Tommy McCarthy
Limited tickets for the night remain, are priced at £30 (unreserved) and £40 (ringside), and are available from all the boxers involved. Luke Wilton can be contracted through his social media or by ringing him at 07725316474.