YOUNG Keighley boxer Ibrahim Nadim has not had the 2023 he had planned, but his short-term absence should lead to a major long-term benefit.

After losing his first professional bout in March to Tinko Banabakov, Nadim (9-1) had to pull out of a July fight in Oldham at short notice due to illness.

It was then he decided to resolve a long-standing issue with his right hand, with the operation he has had on it likely to keep him out of the ring until next January or February, meaning a near year-long gap between bouts.

The Ricky Hatton trained featherweight told the Keighley News: “It was an ongoing problem with my right hand, but it’s finally getting dealt with now.

“It’s not been 100 per cent for most of my professional fights and I was going to fight with practically one hand in July, but then I had to back out anyway because I was ill.

“I’ve had my hand operation but I’m still recovering, and I’ve not punched with it yet.

“I’m having physio to keep it strong, and I’m trying to get it back to the strength it was.”

Nadim has maintained a positive attitude over the situation, saying: “The operation is definitely going to help my career.

“I’ve had a lot of time out of the ring but I’m hopeful, and the goal is to come back at 100 per cent.

“I’m not really nervous to punch with my right hand again for the first time, I’m looking forward to it.

“It was really frustrating to pull out of that Oldham fight, and after the op, I couldn’t use my right hand.

“I’ve still been able to practice my jab with my left hand, but as an orthodox boxer, there’s only so much I’ve been able to do.”

Keighley News: Ibrahim Nadim's right hand has caused him bother for a long time.Ibrahim Nadim's right hand has caused him bother for a long time. (Image: ringwalkmedia12.)

Nadim is realistic about the time scale of his return, saying: “Maybe I have dropped off people’s radar a bit, but I’ll fight anyone in my next bout, as it’s all about getting back to full fitness.

“Realistically, I’m looking at next January or February for the next time I’m in the ring.

“It’s about slowly getting back to using my right hand first, punching soft floats like you get at the swimming baths, before moving on to the punchbag.

“I have to ease into certain stuff, not overdo it and risk a re-injury.”

The Keighley man’s provisional return to the ring coincides with Hatton’s upcoming stint on ITV’s Dancing on Ice in the New Year.

Asked if that will have a knock-on effect on him, Nadim said: “Ricky’s still at the gym, and he’s working his training for Dancing on Ice around that.

“Blain Younis is another coach at the gym anyway and he sorts out my sparring anyway.

“If Ricky’s not there for whatever reason, Blain is able to step up and take over regardless.”