Former Scottish 81kg boxing champion Brian Forsyth is hoping to celebrate his 27th birthday tomorrow by toasting an Edinburgh victory over city rivals Glasgow in a challenge event at the Usher Hall.
Tomorrow evening’s clash represents the latest episode in the ‘Edinburgh versus’ series which has been organised by Amateur Boxing Association Scotland, a registered charity set up by former amateur boxer Bradley Welsh.
Forsyth will be keen to make amends for his defeat almost two years ago as Princes Street Gardens hosted opponents London, the English outfit stealing the limelight with some clinical moves in the ring to take an overall victory.
“I’m certainly hoping to win because it’s my birthday,” Forsyth joked. “I can remember everything about Princes Street Gardens, from the fireworks to the big piping drums so it was just fantastic. I was even there putting the barriers up before the event and taking them away the very next day. These sorts of events bring Edinburgh together, even for the public who aren’t boxing people. The Usher Hall is that bit more compact so I expect the noise to be going through the roof tomorrow.”
Forsyth accepts he has not perhaps gone on to achieve what was expected of him after being crowned Scottish and Eastern District champion just last year, but is desperate to show he can still pack a punch, starting with tomorrow night’s bout with Glasgow’s David King.
He said: “Chances of delivering a home victory on Friday are very good. Some of the guys from Glasgow are strong and they can hold their own in a boxing ring. But things are looking up for my boxing. I feel sharper and a lot fitter. I have been out the way of things for a couple of months and took some time off.
“I got sick of Amateur Boxing Scotland (Boxing Scotland as it is now known) and went to turn professional with Alex Morrison, but that kind of fell through. My aim is still to turn pro and we will see what happens after the Commonwealth Games. It’s a waiting game but I’ve got to keep myself active.”
Forsyth is full of praise for his friend and mentor Welsh, who recently acquired and opened 8500sq feet premises located on Gorgie Road – the biggest boxing gym in the country. With plans to open up further units across the city within the next year, Forsyth is predicting a prosperous future for Capital boxing.
He added: “Bradley is trying to bring boxing back to Edinburgh, which everybody keeps forgetting about. It’s all about the football with Hearts and Hibs and boxing is forgotten about and the talent that Edinburgh has. We want boxing to be a spectacle now and get a greater interest from the public.”
A limited number of £10 tickets are still available for tomorrow night’s Edinburgh v Glasgow show at the Usher Hall and are available to buy from the venue’s box office.