Undefeated Northern Sporting club boxer Callum Stuart erected scaffolding in his garden to hold punch bags during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Now the 21-year-old super-welterweight is ready to construct a path to future title glory after 15 months of frustration.
With gyms closed due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Stuart turned creative – and built his own boxing bag frame to train on.
It kept him in shape during more than a year of frustration.
Macduff based Stuart, who is signed to Aberdeen-based Northern Sporting Club, has not fought since an impressive 40-35 points defeat of Kevin McCauley in February last year.
That extended his flawless professional record to three wins from three bouts.
With lockdown restrictions easing and the success of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, Stuart hopes to make up for lost time by packing in fights this year.
He said: “It has been strange times, especially with the gyms not being open.
“When the first lockdown came I managed to get some scaffolding from my work and I set up bags in my back-garden and trained there.
“It was a 10-minute job to do as that is what I do at my work anyway.
“Although I was working on those bags and still running, there was no sparring, so it did become hard to remain motivated.
“However, you have to push through that and keep training every day.”
Following a comprehensive defeat of McCauley at the Hilton Treetops Hotel last February, Stuart was anticipating a busy 2020 where he built further momentum.
However, the following month the coronavirus pandemic hit and the United Kingdom was plunged into lockdown.
Boxing was suspended and gyms were closed.
Stuart said: “After that win last February, I thought I was going to get at least three or four fights last year, but that didn’t happen which was so frustrating.
“I was bored during lockdown and angry that I couldn’t box.
“It was such a shock to the system, but it is what it is and hopefully I will be back fighting soon.
“During lockdown I watched some of the behind-closed-door fights on television and was a little jealous.
“Once Christmas came, I thought I might get back around March, but then there was another set-back and I began to think: will this ever end?
“It looks promising now though.”
With gyms closed, Stuart not only missed the intense training regime, but the camaraderie with his Northern Sporting Club stable-mates.
However, the five-time Scottish amateur champion was able to arrange some training sessions with his brother Billy, the BUI Celtic super-bantamweight champion.
Billy, 23, has won all 10 of his pro fights and is targeting a British title shot.
Callum said: “When you are in the boxing gym, you are amongst your friends so the social part of it was gone as well during the lockdown.
“I did miss everyone.
“I did some sessions with Billy and we worked on the scaffolding, although we never sparred because that would have ended up in a war.”
Stuart began his pro career with a 40-36 defeat of Casey Blair in Aberdeen in June 2019.
That was followed up with another emphatic 40-36 defeat of MJ Hall in Elgin in September 2019 before the defeat of McCauley.
Set to finally emerge from the lockdown, Stuart is determined to follow his brother’s path to title success.
He said: “I just want to get back in the ring and have a fight this year, so that I can go for it again.
“I will be 22 in July and turned professional early, so I still have a lot of time left in my career.
“Hopefully I can get a few fights and then start looking for titles.
“I just have to look at Billy’s path and what he has done.
“Listening to Davie (McAllister Jnr – manager, trainer and promoter), they will make the right decisions for me with the right fights, so I am looking forward to the future.”