Despite his British title eliminator victory over Liverpool’s Nathan Brough on Saturday night, Edinburgh boxer John Thain admitted there was a dark cloud hanging over his triumph in wake of compatriot Mike Towell’s death.
The welterweight won by an unanimous decision at Bellahouston Sports Centre in Glasgow but admitted his mind was elsewhere prior to stepping into the ring given the tragic news that had emerged the previous evening.
The death of 25-year-old Towell has shocked the boxing world after the Dundee fighter was rushed to hospital on Thursday night having been knocked to the canvas twice during his bout with Welshman Dale Evans at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Glasgow.
And Thain, who now has 16 professional wins under his belt, revealed he found it extremely difficult to focus on anything else.
“I thought about it all day on Saturday and even in the dressing room before the fight,” the 28-year-old explained. “It’s just devastating. He was actually at our gym a couple of months ago, he was a very quiet guy but he could fight. He had a very crowd-pleasing style. I was obviously pleased to get the win but there was a real dark cloud hanging over it.
“We all know the risks we take as boxers. We have to go for brain scans every year and be checked over. But it really puts everything into perspective.”
Thain is now eyeing his first crack at a British Lonsdale Belt.
“Bradley Skeete [the current champion] is a great fighter and has shown his qualities, but it’s definitely a fight I want,” Thain said. “I think a deal can be done but he’s got a fight against Shayne Singleton later this month so we’ll just need to see what his plans are assuming he gets through that.”
Elsewhere, cruiserweight Stephen Simmons made short work of German Lars Buchholz with a third-round stoppage.
Welterweight Lewis Benson maintained his undefeated record with a six-round victory over Lukasz Janik of Poland and Lee Redpath drew his lightweight encounter with Falkirk’s Steven Beattie.