Undefeated MTK boxer Tommy Philbin says he was left distraught after his Scottish light-heavyweight title showdown with Grant Quigley was postponed.
However, he still fully intends to wake up on Sunday morning with the first belt of his professional career by his bedside.
The 27-year-old was left stunned when Port Glasgow’s Quigley, who is also undefeated, withdrew from tomorrow night’s bout at Meadowbank saying he had been given insufficient time to prepare for their ten-round contest.
Philbin, though, revealed both parties had the contract drawn up and signed in January.
The Kirkliston boxer will instead switch his attention to Northern Ireland’s Carl Wild and his pursuit of the British Challenge belt on tomorrow night’s Capital Showdown bill.
“I’m still looking forward to tomorrow, don’t get me wrong, but not how I was before when all this stuff with Quigley happened,” Philbin explained. “It was signed back in January so how he hasn’t had enough preparation is beyond me. I remember the date well as it was the sixth anniversary of the death of my dad, January 3, so it lifted me a little and gave me something to look forward to.
“He [Quigley] has been in the gym training so I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong it would have been a hard fight for both of us but I think he knows I would have beaten him. He could have at least said he was injured. It’s embarrassing really. But I’ve just got to focus on the belt that it is up for grabs and not what might have been.
“Wild is a boxer who likes to come forward. He’s shared the ring with a few good names like Kenny Anderson, Enzo Maccarinelli and Martin Murray but I should have enough in the tank to see the job through.
“I’m number ten in Britain in the rankings so a win would see me move up a few places. But this is going to be my last fight at light-heavyweight as I’m going to move down to super-middleweight. I want to fight Rhys Pagan (current champion) for the Scottish title after this one and I don’t think I’ll have any trouble in winning that one.”
Philbin, who still works full-time as a fishmonger, will have a new coach in his corner as of tomorrow night. Having reached the decision to part ways with Lochend’s Terry McCormack and join Billy Nelson’s Airdrie-based gym in April, he remains optimistic about his future in the sport.
“It was just really the circumstances I’ve now found myself in that forced the move,” he said. “But I’ve really enjoyed it so far, it’s been good and I feel as fit as a fiddle. I’m not one for taking photos with my top off but my missus took one the other day and it’s the best I’ve ever looked – she feels like she has a new man!
“I’m now going running six times a week as opposed to the three I used to do. It has been hard, though, as I’ve been out of my comfort zone having spent nine years at Lochend. But I still pop in and see Terry and the others as I’ve got a lot of friends there.”
Elsewhere, Thomas Dickson (6-1) makes his long-awaited return to the ring tomorrow night after a six-month lay off and is up against Hull’s Luke Fash. The lightweight fighter was forced to pull out of his last bout in March due to tissue damage to his right hand. The 27-year-old is seeking his seventh win as a pro since making his debut in December 2015.
“I’m absolutely buzzing for this show and to get back to business,” Dickson said. “My hand is a lot better after physio treatment so there are no issues there. I’m feeling really fit and proved it last weekend as I blasted around the Edinburgh half marathon in 90 minutes!”
Meanwhile, super-featherweight Lewis Paulin (9-0) and Ratu Latianara (4-0) of the cruiserweight division will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. Their opponents, however, are still to be confirmed.