New Stevenston kickboxer Jamie McGinnis says meeting legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard has inspired him as he continues his road back to fitness.
World amateur kickboxing champion McGinnis was a guest of sponsor Morton’s Rolls at a special ‘Evening With’ event featuring Leonard at Hamilton Racecourse.
The former seven-time world champion across five weight divisions spoke about his career and his words fuelled McGinnis who looks to return to the ring later in the year following knee surgery.
McGinnis said: “I had a great night thanks to my sponsor Morton’s Rolls who have looked after me superbly during my recovery.
“Hearing all their ups and downs in life as a world champion boxer is something I will cherish for the rest of my life and also learn from.
“It’s definitely got me excited about climbing back through they ropes again which doesn’t seem too far away now as everything seems to be on track with my rehabilitation.”
McGinnis also thanked former Celtic defender John Kennedy for aiding his recovery.
He said: “John suffered the same injury and got me on track with the different training and building programs I needed.
“The help and support I’ve received during it has been incredible as I’ve had a lot of dull moments and bad weeks which is expected, but my family and girlfriend have pulled me through it.
“Now I see there is light at the end of the tunnel and look forward to announcing my return to the ring very soon.”
McGinnis was also at ringside for the finals of Boxing Scotland National Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
At the event Forgewood’s Reece McFadden won the flyweight title and now hopes to be named in Scotland’s Commonwealth Games squad on Friday.
McFadden said: “I have represented Scotland before, but obviously doing so at the Commonwealth Games would top everything I’ve done so far, especially with the event being held in Glasgow.
“I remember fighting in front of thousands of people in Kazahkstan and they really get behind their own, but the atmosphere created by 10,000 Scots will be even better, particularly for the home boxers.
“The selection for the squad is officially announced on Friday, but I think I’ve done enough to be involved and I would be so proud as a Forgewood lad myself to be representing the Forgewood club on such a stage.”
The 18-year-old will be busy in the lead up to Glasgow 2014 as he is set to attend training camps in Portugal and Australia, thanking his employers North Lanarkshire Council for their assistance.
He said: “The council have been great with giving me time off as I try to get as prepared as possible for the Games.
“I want to stay amateur for as long as I can and would love a shot at going to the Olympics in Rio, but to do so I need to perform to my best every time I am in the ring and the two training camps will certainly help me.”