STOURBRIDGE boxer Steven Pearce faces a period on the sidelines after being diagnosed with inflammation of the lungs.

The International Masters Welterweight Champion was due to step back in the ring at a bumper show at Walsall Town Hall in May.

The 29-year-old former Midlands Area Champion was hoping to bounce straight back from his narrow British Masters defeat to Ryan Hardy earlier this month.

After that fight, Pearce complained of chest pains and was put on a course of antibiotics. Still unable to train, he sought further medical advice and was diagnosed with inflamed lungs pending further tests next week.

“I’m gutted,” he said. “My career has been based on comebacks and I was hoping to make an immediate come back from the Hardy defeat.

“When I lost in Prizefighter I went on to win the Midlands Area Title, when I lost that to Sam Eggington, I came back to beat Rob Hunt. After the Hardy loss, I was determined to get straight back in the ring and atone for that defeat.

“The comeback is on hold until I’m fully recovered, which won’t be in time to fight in May. It’s a shame but I need to get myself right first. I can’t train at the moment so I’m just resting.

“I’m hoping to be back in June or July,” he added.

Pearce has been replaced on ‘Mayday! Mayday!' show at Walsall by stablemate Kyle Spencer. The Dudley light middleweight lost for the first time earlier this month and will be looking to make an immediate return to winning ways.

‘Mayday! Mayday!’ is headlined by British Masters and Midlands Area Light Middleweight Champion, Jason Welborn, and Walsall’s Luke Paddock.

Welborn takes on an International opponent over ten rounds whilst Paddock will be looking to build on his recent British Bronze Masters Light Welterweight Title victory.

Tickets, priced at £30 and £60, are available from Walsall Town Hall's box office on 0845 111 2900.