Boxer Nathaniel Collins enjoying succesful start to pro career

Nathaniel Collins (right) has successfully stepped up to the professional ranks after last year's Commonwealth Games
Nathaniel Collins (right) has successfully stepped up to the professional ranks after last year's Commonwealth Games

Stepps fighter Nathaniel Collins has been a pro for only a few months but is already living up to his Nightmare moniker as far as his opponents go.

This time last year Collins’s main focus was on preparing to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.

But now the 22-year-old former Bearsden Academy pupil is riding on the crest of a wave after a perfect start to his professional career.

It’s three wins from three so far - with fight number four coming up at the Emirates Arena on Sunday, March 22, against an as yet unnamed opponent.

With wins over England’s Lee Connelly, Mexican Arturo Lopez and another Englishman Ricky Starkey tucked under his belt, Collins’s decision to go pro is looking a shrewd move.

And should another victory follow at the Emirates then he’s already eyeing up a possible shot at the Celtic super featherweight title.

He said: “I thought I had got to the heights I could get to at the amateur game with the Commonwealth Games.

“There wasn’t much coming up so I thought it was time to turn over and start making my way up in the pro game now.

“I’ve signed with Ian Wilson from St Andrew’s Sporting Club, they’re brilliant and have got my best interests at heart.

“It’s great, it’s much different. The gloves are much smaller and you can see the difference when you hit somebody with the smaller gloves.

“It’s a mindset change as well. You’re trying to hurt people now rather than just score the points and let it go the three rounds.”

Collins says he is enjoying the step up in distance and says it gives him more time to work out tactics.

He said: “It’s been absolutely fine. I was always fit as an amateur and felt I could do more than three rounds easily.

“Even now most people do four or five four-rounders before they try a six-rounder but I did a six-rounder in my second fight and my third fight so it’s been absolutely no problem.

“I’ve sparred 12 rounds continuous in the gym with different opponents so I know myself that I’m fit to go the distance.

“In the amateurs everybody’s rushing to do as much as they can in the nine minutes. It’s too fast, it’s over before it’s begun.

“When there’s more rounds you can think about what you’re doing, you take a wee round or two to figure out what you’re doing and work on different things.

“There’s time there to try things, but in the amateurs it’s over as soon as it’s started.

“It’s a lot different. You can take it at your own pace and you’re kind of learning on the job, so it’s good to get that wee change. I much prefer it rather than the amateurs when everything’s focussed on speed.”

It’s not all gone to plan though - Collins says his third bout against Starkey was not at all what he expected.

“My first one was a nice wee feeler and then my next one I got a stoppage. But my third fight was an absolute disaster.

“I hit the guy with a combination and he just didn’t want to fight after that.

“He just kept holding on and did that for two rounds straight and in the third he got disqualified.

“He just wasn’t interested at all and it was really frustrating.”