Gary all set for world title bid

Gary McLeary
Gary McLeary

Motherwell kickboxer Gary McLeary hopes completing the Italian job will see him lifting another world title on Saturday.

The super-heavyweight takes on Luca Panto from Messina at Rivals Gym in Wishaw for the WKA version of the world title, and after stepping away from the sport for a year McCleary says he feels like a new man.

He said: “It will be a year since my last fight and we have gone back to the drawing board and gone back to basics.

“There were different things I wanted to try and now after a really good training camp I am ready to go.

“I feel like I have now got my edge back and I’m coming back as a completely new fighter .”

This isn’t the first time McLeary has faced Italian opposition, having lost to Alex Rossi in Hamilton for the IKSA world super-heavyweight title two years ago, but says he has learned from that experience.

He said: “Panto is known throughout Europe and is quite highly considered particularly in the K1 style of fighting and having had 50-odd fights so has a huge experience edge on me.

“However, I have home advantage and will be aiming to use that, the night is a near sell-out, I’ve never known such interest in one of my fights so the crowd will spur me on.

“I have faced an Italian before and lost, I understand Panto fights in a very similar way, so I have taken what I learned from the defeat to Rossi and this time it will be a different outcome.”

McLeary would like to thank his sponsors Global Logistics, the Imperial Bar, Clyde Scaffolding and the Commercial Hotel.