Charlie is ready for return to the ring

Charlie Flynn
Charlie Flynn

Newarthill’s Charlie Flynn takes on the vastly experienced Ibrar Riyaz as he makes his professional boxing debut in Glasgow on Sunday.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist will top the bill at the Thistle Hotel in a four round lightweight contest.

At the age of 29 Riyaz, who hails from Reading, has 74 fights under his belt since making his debut in 2008.

Although he has just four wins on his record he has only been stopped once and that was by the highly decorated Liam Walsh.

Taking on Flynn will be Riyaz’s 19th fight of the year having and he is on something of a high earning a draw with Leicester’s Lewis Jones on Sunday.

Flynn has been working hard at Glasgow Phoenix gym under the tutelage of Peter Harrison, regularly pounding the streets at 7am, but feels in good shape with the fight just days away.

He said: “Everything is going well ahead of Sunday, I’ve been sparring with top class fighters like Scott Harrison, Willie Limond and Craig Kelly and its been great to feed off their knowledge.

“It’s a bit different to the days when I used to grab a roll and sausage on the way to the gym, but physically I’ve been able to cope with the training okay and I’m feeling really sharp.

“It’s fair to say Riyaz has a bit of an experience edge on me, he hasn’t won many, but clearly he knows what he is doing in the ring.

“I’ve seen a few clips of him so I pretty much know what to expect, he’ll be holding and acting aggressive, but I just have to use my ability to overcome him.

“I think officially Jon Slowey will be in the main event, but I know in reality all eyes are on me and I am feeling a little bit of pressure because I know there is a lot of expectation on my shoulders.

“However, I need to just blank that out and once I am in the ring there is just me and Riyaz in there.

“If I am not fully focused then I am sure he has it in him to beat me, but I will be taking it as seriously as if I was facing a World champion.

“Really, I just want to get this first one over with and then I can retreat back a bit and just get on with building my career away from the limelight.

“We have five fights lined up for next year so I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”

There will be no title on the line this weekend, but Flynn has already picked up some silverware winning the Editor’s Choice Award at the Scottish Sport Awards.

Flynn said: “It was a good laugh and a great night.”

Meanwhile, Flynn’s Commonwealth Games team mate Aqeel Ahmed has rounded off a memorable 2014 by winning the flyweight west district championship in Glasgow.

The Motherwell fighter competed in several tournaments across the globe, including Australia and the prestigious Tammer tournament in Finland, where he picked up a bronze medal.

Highlight of the year though was the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where Aqeel went out in the quarter final to the vastly more experienced Indian opponent and eventual runner up.

He said: “The Games were an incredible experience and makes me more determined to succeed at international level.”

With amateur boxing on a high from Glasgow the Keir Hardie fighter is hoping 2015 can be as busy as the outgoing year.

The event starts at 7.30pm and tickets costing £50 (standard) and £90 (VIP) are available here