Terry McCormack has finally seen his dream for Lochend Boxing Club come to fruition after doors to the premises reopened last week following major refurbishment.
It has been a long, drawn-out process consisting of numerous applications and endless business meetings but this once disused scout hut now exhibits one of the best boxing outlets in the country.
Three major sources of funding were utilised in order to complete the project – national sports governing body sportscotland providing the lion’s share, with rugby-based charity Wooden Spoon and the City Council providing the remaining revenue required.
New shower and changing facilities including disabled access, plus a large extension to the back of the original building on Sleigh Drive, an area that will accommodate a large boxing ring, are some of the transformations made to a club which has been operating since 2007 and is home to 2012 Olympian Josh Taylor.
Speaking about the club as it begins to return to normality after several months of construction work, McCormack said: “It was a great relief to myself and Jackie (McCormack’s wife). It’s been two years and it’s just dragged on and on. There’s been three parties involved who have needed kept up to date with what’s been happening. It’s been a lot of hard work, but well worth it.
“The place is looking brilliant and people when they come in are blown away. I got the main things in that I wanted. There were 50 people in here last Wednesday when we could normally only accommodate around 30. The venue can now become a hall for anyone in the community to use, as the boxing bags can come down, or just for people who wish to keep fit. Everybody is going to benefit, but, boxing-wise, we’re hoping to go to new levels.”
McCormack has a fine array of talent operating within the four walls of his club, both on the amateur and professional circuits, and he is pleased to now be able to offer his boxers the very best facilities and equipment around. He said: “They (the boxers) love it, it’s just so fresh with more space; it’s just moving with the times. It’s given them what they deserve. We’ve even got blow hand dryers on the wall and I even caught John Thain turning the nozzle the other way and using it on his hair!”
Thain, the 26-year-old light middleweight professional, 26, can boast an impeccable record of 11 wins from as many fights since opting for the top tier of the sport in 2010 and is promoted by Frank Warren.
However, he has only once been afforded the opportunity to box in front of his home support in the Capital, when he defeated Chris Jenkinson at Meadowbank in December 2012. McCormack feels that situation needs to change. “Right now, in the east of Scotland, it’s not really possible with few promoters out there wanting to put shows on in the east,” McCormack said. “Hopefully in the near future, somebody grabs the bull by the horns and says ‘there’s loads of great talent in the east of Scotland’.
“There are professional shows on through in Glasgow all the time but we’ve got some of the best boxers here in the country and it would be good for them to box in front of their own fans – they need that next level.
“I’ve got five or six amateurs who could turn professional tomorrow and pack out the big venues across Edinburgh, but they either go west or head down south when they turn professional. I might have to make inroads into seeing what can be done myself, although I am too busy with everything going on at the club but something needs to change.
“But for Lochend as a whole, we just want to keep producing top class boxers and making them into Scottish, British, Commonwealth and even world champions.”