Boxer becomes heavyweight after Christmas dinner

Boxer Tommy Philbin. Picture: Jane Barlow
Boxer Tommy Philbin. Picture: Jane Barlow
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HE must be the one person who doesn’t regret over-indulging on their Christmas dinner – after it made him a Scottish heavyweight champion.

Instead of spending the months battling to lose the festive pounds, boxer Tommy Philbin turned tipping the scales in January to his advantage and chose to start fighting at heavyweight. And the move sprouted success as he won his first national title since joining the senior circuit seven years ago.

The only reason I moved up a weight was because I ate too much Christmas dinner

Tommy Philbin

The 24-year-old from Granton overcame Bravehearts Boxing Club’s Connal McDonald to win 91kg gold last weekend, and owes it all to turkey and trimmings.

A natural light heavyweight, Philbin had been eliminated at the semi-final stage of the event for the last seven years.

“I’m actually a fishmonger so I obviously eat a lot of fish,” said Tommy, who has two children with fiancèe Lauren – son Charlie, who will be three in May, and daughter Annabella, who is one.

“I also eat a lot of chicken, pasta, veg and porridge when I’m training. But when I’m not training, I’ll eat anything, with Chinese food being my weakness. At Christmas I just ate and ate and for six weeks never trained so I did put on some weight. I was the size of a house!

“I’m not a drinker, though, and I’ll maybe only have one Magners at Christmas. This was my first year at heavyweight and the only reason I moved up was because I ate too much Christmas dinner.”

Tommy found his weight ballooned from the 81kg (12 stone) light heavyweight limit to over 97kg (15 stone) at Christmas – not surprising when you consider the average Christmas day dinner can be 7000 calories – or three times the recommended intake.

“One of my coaches advised me to box at heavyweight and it’s got me the win. I’ve always managed to get to the semi-finals but have never been passed them so I’m delighted to have made the final and won it. I still don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”

Despite his success in his new-found weight category, Tommy said he planned to drop back down to his more accustomed weight for future competitions.

That said, he will look to add to his Scottish title when he boxes at heavyweight at the British Championships in May.

“I’m going to the British Championships at the end of May to fight at heavyweight but after that I’ll be moving back down again. If it wasn’t for my coaches I would never have got this far so they’ve been great.”