Early starts aren’t cod’s wallop for Tommy Philbin

Tommy Philbin, pictured during his win over Curtis Gargano, enjoys his dual role as boxer and a fishmonger. Pic: Andrew O'Brien

Tommy Philbin, pictured during his win over Curtis Gargano, enjoys his dual role as boxer and a fishmonger. Pic: Andrew O'Brien

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As far as boxers go, they are renowned for being some of the most dedicated and hardworking athletes in the business.

Edinburgh’s Tommy Philbin’s devotion to the sport, however, is something out of the ordinary.

A fishmonger by trade, the 26-year-old, who competes in the light heavyweight division, registered his fourth victory as a paid boxer at MGM Scotland’s Collision Course bill at Meadowbank on Saturday night with a convincing points win over Manchester’s Curtis Gargano.

Philbin is a classy performer whose style is very easy on the eye but, as he revealed after his latest triumph, the preparation that goes into each bout takes one almighty effort in keeping those close to him happy. But, with fiancée Lauren and kids Charlie, three, and Annabella, two, to support, Philbin says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Monday is my earliest day as I’m up and out of bed at 12.45am before leaving to head up to Perth to start work at two,” he explained. “I then work until 10am, get home about an hour later and go out for a run. I’ll then spend the day with my missus and my kids before going to the gym to train at night. And that happens every week. I’ll then train over the weekend as well so it can be tough going.

“But Tuesday and throughout the rest of the working week is roughly the same sort of thing but I don’t start work until 4am so I can get an extra two hours in bed! I’m only getting a couple of hours sleep each night but I’m that accustomed to it that it’s become second nature to me. I actually function better with less sleep. I feel worse if I have anything more than eight hours.”

Philbin admits he is still chasing the dream of finding himself in a position to live off what he earns solely from his boxing skills. That said, he does harbour a real passion for his other mode of employment as a 
fishmonger.

“I have to admit I’ve landed on my feet with my job as I really love it,” he said. “It would be sad to give up if I ever get into that position, I love cutting fish and I have a great diet because of it. People sometimes look at me when I say how much I love it, but that’s just me. I am up so early and I’m away from Lauren and the kids so much of the time. It can be hard at times because my family means 
everything to me.

“Boxing is also a full-time job, though. I train six days a week, twice a day so it’s a lot of hours put in. But you need to put the effort in if you’re going to make a name for yourself. I’d like to be able to take eight or ten weeks off for training camps and then go back to my job as a fishmonger. That would be ideal.”

Philbin was delighted with how his four rounds panned out with Gargano on Saturday and says he will be ready to go again in six weeks’ time when he returns to the ring at 
Bellahouston Sports Centre in Glasgow.

“It was a straightforward win but he could take a big shot,” Philbin said. “I got wise to him, it’s a win so that’s all that matters. He was very durable though, like most journeymen are. I feel I’m learning every fight so I always get tough guys but that’s the way I like it. I’ll be looking to go and get another win next month in Glasgow.”