POPULAR Holme Wood boxer Darren Tetley is currently awaiting surgery on a horror eye injury.

The welterweight took on Elliot Whale at York Hall in Bethnal Green last month, and his opponent progressed his professional record to 8-0 with victory.

That was down to a blistering punch from Whale at the start of the fourth in the eight-round bout, which damaged Tetley’s eye so badly he was forced to retire from the contest.

Tetley is a proud boxer, and has no regrets about consistently taking on high-calibre opponents, knowing he can give them a real battle in the ring.

Discussing that bout with Whale, which saw the Bradfordian’s professional record drop to 22-6, Tetley said: “I’m an honest person, and I saw one report on the fight that sounded like Elliot had basically punched my head in throughout.

“But that wasn’t the case, it was nip and tuck, even though I do think Elliot was edging the rounds up until I was forced to retire.

“I’d been struggling to get away from his left hand all fight, and he kept landing good punches with it.

“Seeing his professional record, I thought he was pretty inexperienced, but I found out later he’d won something like 98 of his 103 amateur fights, so he’s probably even more experienced than I am.”

Unfortunately, the power and ability Whale possesses has caused post-fight problems for Tetley.

The Bradford southpaw said: “I knew when he hit me at the start of the fourth round that I was in trouble.

“I heard it crack against me and the pain shoot up the right side of my face.

“It still feels numb now, even though the fight was a few weeks ago.

“I’m awaiting surgery on my eye just now because of it, but that might not be completed until about April time.”

Tetley’s dedication to taking tough fights means he will always go through with them, even when he might not be in the best position to do so, with a difficult up to both the Whale fight and his previous encounter against Stephen McKenna (14-0).

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Stephen McKenna (right) has knocked out all but one of his professional opponents to date, including Darren Tetley (left) in their bout last September.Stephen McKenna (right) has knocked out all but one of his professional opponents to date, including Darren Tetley (left) in their bout last September. (Image: PA.)

The Holme Wood native confessed: “I fought Elliot on a Friday night, but on the Tuesday of that week, I’d gone to work at 12:30pm and didn’t finish and get home until 4:30am on the Wednesday.

“I like taking on the best, but that was one thing that annoyed me about the McKenna fight.

“Not once did the commentators mention I’d taken that bout on at eight days’ notice, and anybody who’s not fully fit is going to struggle against a bloke like Scott, who’d won 12 of his 13 fights by knockout going into the one against me.

“Some professional fighters wouldn’t have taken him on even with six weeks’ notice.”

Those defeats to McKenna and Whale mean Tetley has now lost six of his last eight fights, but those half-a-dozen opponents had had two defeats between them heading into their bouts against the Bradfordian.

And Tetley reflected: “I’m proud of the results I’ve had in my career.

“You can’t say I’ve got a padded record, when I could easily have cruised to 50-0.

“The only bout I’ve had over the past two years against a journeyman was when I beat Richard Helm last June, but even then, that was Richard being generous enough to step in when Jake James (who was 10-0 at the time) pulled out with injury at the last minute.

“I’ll take on those hard fighters and I won’t use niggles as excuses, but if I get into that ring at 100 per cent or 20 per cent fit, that’s my choice, no-one else’s.”