Old clubhouse shows championship potential

Ricky Burns and North Lanarkshire provost Tom Curley open the new gym flanked by pupils from Bellshill Academy, coach Billy Nelson and Bellshill councillor Harry Curran.
Ricky Burns and North Lanarkshire provost Tom Curley open the new gym flanked by pupils from Bellshill Academy, coach Billy Nelson and Bellshill councillor Harry Curran.

MOSSEND gained a world boxing champion this week as the gym which is home to Ricky Burns opened new premises.

The Fighting Scots Gym has been based in Stepps for the past four years, but its land has been sold for housing, forcing coach Billy Nelson to look elsewhere.

He has now leased the derelict Mossend Bowling Club from North Lanarkshire Council and transformed it into a first class training facility.

Billy said: “After five months we brought the council official who gave us the keys back and he couldn’t believe the transformation.

“The trainers and the boys make a gym, rather than the facilities, but these are much better premises to come into.

“Ricky is happier because he’s five minutes away instead of 20, so he gets an extra 15 minutes in his bed!”

Burns defends the WBO lightweight title against Namibian Paulus Moses at Braehead Arena on March 10 and is delighted by the boost the new gym has given to his preparations.

He said: “The gym’s much bigger than we had before with a bigger ring and brand new equipment, so things are looking good and hopefully I can keep up my winning ways.

“Preparation has been going good for the Moses fight. we have two weeks left and then will wind down in the last week and it will just be about keeping on top of the weight.

“We have a great bunch of guys here working with me and, to be honest, I just want the bout to come round soon as fight night is the best part of boxing.”

The gym was officially opened by North Lanarkshire Provost Tom Curley.

He said: “I’m sure the boxers learning and training here will be inspired by Ricky’s achievements and the hard work he has put in to get to this level.”