Lochend’s Matty McHale hopes to make it third time lucky when he boxes 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Reece McFadden for the Elite Scottish 52kg title at Ravenscraig tonight.
The 20-year-old finished runner up to his Forgewood opponent in last year’s final and then suffered a double whammy losing to McFadden just eight weeks later in the British final.
However, McHale believes he is a better fighter since giving up his job in November and putting all his energy into the sport.
“I’ve boxed him twice before and lost so I need to get one over him this time around,” the youngster said. “He beat me twice in finals last year so it’s time I changed all that.
“I gave up my job in November and at first I didn’t know how it was going to go if I’m being honest. But it’s gone really well and I’ve had a lot of support so I really believe this is my year. Having turned full time and with the training and sparring that’s been available to me, I think I’ll have the better of him.”
McHale still harbours aspirations of representing his country at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, and knows this is his opportunity to plant a seed in the selection committee’s minds.
“Reece is number one, absolutely. He’s the main man at 52kg but that’s going to change,” McHale said. “It’s all based on a points system so if this one doesn’t go my way tonight then I’ve still got time. I’ve got other tournaments with Scotland coming up so I just need to keep winning and building points. Only time will tell if I can grab that spot. It’s been the goal for a long time so there would be nothing else like it. I watched my club-mate Josh Taylor win gold so why can’t I?”
Elsewhere, Meadowbank’s Lee McGregor is overwhelming favourite to retain his 56kg title against Jack Turner of Hayfield Boxing Club, Leith Victoria’s Daniel Gollan will be crowned 91+kg champion if he overcomes the Bronx’s Mitchell Barton whilst stablemate Junior Burton faces off against the Hayfield’s Nathaniel Collins for the 60kg title. In the women’s 48kg final, Lochend’s Nasreen Anderson is up against Emma McCulloch of Glenrothes and Gardner Moore, also of Lochend, meets Glasgow City’s Shannon Lawson in their 69kg final.