Boxer Brian Forsyth admits the switch to the professional ranks has come later than he had envisaged but that won’t stop the Capital fighter doing all he can to reach the top.
A former Scottish national champion from his time as an amateur, the 28-year-old will make his professional debut tonight at the Bellahouston Sports Centre in Glasgow against an unnamed opponent from London.
And, after putting pen to paper on a three-year deal with Marbella-based promoter MGM, Forsyth intends to make the most of an opportunity that he insists is better late than never. “It’s a challenge I’ve been waiting for the last two or three years,” the super middleweight fighter told the Evening News.
“I’ve always looked forward to turning pro so I can’t wait for tonight. It’s maybe come a bit later than I had hoped but it’s not too late that I can’t achieve what I want to in the professional ranks. I’ve certainly got the appetite to reach the top.
“I would have liked to have made the move earlier but there wasn’t an opportunity created for me like there has been now. I signed a contract with Alex Morrison two years ago but just the way everything was structured and set up, it wasn’t really that appealing and it never took off. I spoke to a few people about MGM and it just seems a whole lot more promising with what they are offering in comparison to other promoters.”
MGM have recently snapped up Commonwealth Games star Lewis Benson on a similar deal, Edinburgh’s cruiserweight boxer Stephen Simmons also splitting with manager Alex Morrison in March to sign on with a promoter that has only been in the business for three years. With MGM’s sister gym now having opened in Glasgow and operating under the banner of MGM Scotland, Forsyth firmly believes exciting times lie just around the corner.
“It’s a new venture made by MGM so this is their first show tonight they are putting on in Scotland,” he explained. “There will be 1500 people there so it’s not like it’s a wee small hall show. The plan is certainly to pack out bigger venues in the future and that is entirely in MGM’s remit. They want to bring back boxing to Scotland in a big way.
“I’ll be fighting in Edinburgh in September and then hopefully again in October or November before a wee lay off over Christmas. I want to move quicker than most because I’ve started that wee bit later. But you can get to within contention of title fights now after eight to ten bouts so hopefully I can steadily build myself.
“I was fighting at light heavyweight in the amateurs so getting down to 76kg shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I just need to concentrate on keeping to a more stable diet and not let it slip.”
As an amateur, Forsyth starred in a number of Bradley Welsh’s ‘Edinburgh versus the World’ shows in both Princes Street Gardens and the Usher Hall, events that Forsyth admits were a joy to box in given the capacity crowds that were there roaring him onto victory.
However, he appreciates a much sterner opponent awaits tonight and acknowledges the importance of getting off on the right foot in his first professional bout.
“Boxing for Edinburgh in Princes Street Gardens, the Usher Hall, the atmospheres were great to be a part of so I’m sure the crowd will get right behind us tonight,” he said. “There are six Scottish boxers on the show so we’ll all be looking to get a win.
“It’s so important I get off with a win. I don’t want to go in there as a professional and encounter my first loss. Nobody wants to be tarnished with that brush so I’m going in there with the best intentions.”
n Boxing Scotland has announced its biggest increase in funding from sportscotland as it looks to build on the success of Glasgow 2014.
The sport’s national governing body has been awarded just over £2.5million to develop its boxers ahead of the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018 and improve on the four medals delivered in Glasgow last year.
Lochend’s Josh Taylor won gold defeating Namibia’s Junias Jonas in the 64kg final.