Boxers celebrate place at Games

Ross Henderson (standing, centre left) Charlie Flynn (standing, second right), Reece McFadden (seated, centre) and Aqueel Ahmed (seated right) have been selected for the Commonwealth Games
Ross Henderson (standing, centre left) Charlie Flynn (standing, second right), Reece McFadden (seated, centre) and Aqueel Ahmed (seated right) have been selected for the Commonwealth Games

Motherwell boxer Ross Henderson says a bronze medal is the least he will accept from this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Last week the super-heavyweight was named in the Scotland squad for the Games which also includes Reece McFadden and Aqeel Ahmed from Motherwell and Charlie Flynn from Newarthill.

This will be the second time Henderson has represented his country at the event having been picked to go to Delhi four years ago.

Despite being the Scottish champion at the time he was still very much a rookie in the sport, so was only in India to gain experience, but intends to make an impact in 2014.

Henderson, who fights out of Springhill ABC, said: “Having been selected to go to Delhi I am delighted to have another chance to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, particularly with it being on home soil.

“I had only taken up the sport a couple of years prior to going to India so while being the Scottish champion won me my place it was more an opportunity to gain valuable experience than anything else.

“However, I have now been fighting for six years and I’m a much better boxer than I was back then so have high hopes of a medal.

“To be honest if I don’t get at least a bronze then I will be disappointed, and if I can get that far in the tournament then who knows a gold certainly isn’t out of the question.”

Something of a football prodigy in his youth, Henderson turned to boxing after getting injured and is delighted with the way things have worked out.

He said: “I won the Scottish schoolboys at 16 and while I wasn’t the greatest player in the world I could maybe have done something in the game.

“However, after suffering a knee injury I started boxing training and took to it right away, within three onths I was the Western champion.

“It just shows you that you can’t get down when you get a setback as you never know where your life will lead and I certainly want to prove that in Glasgow over the summer.”

While Henderson, McFadden and Flynn all virtually guaranteed their places by winning at the Scottish Championship finals at the Emirates Arena in March, with no 49kg category Ahmed faced a nervous weight.

Ahmed, who fights out of Keir Hardie ABC, said: “I’m over the moon about being selected, as it’s been two years in the making from when I first set myself the goal of competing in the Games.

“I didn’t fight at the Emirates because nobody else was entered at my weight this year, which was unfortunate as I’d have liked to showcase myself, but none the less all the hard over the past two years has paid off.”