Northern Sporting Club super-welterweight Callum Stuart aims to turn 2020 into the year he makes a major impact in the professional ranks.
The 20-year-old will tonight face seasoned journeyman Kevin McCauley at the Double Tree by Hilton Aberdeen Treetops Hotel.
A five-time Scottish champion at amateur level, Stuart – younger brother of undefeated super-bantamweight Billy – has comfortably won his first
Stuart, aka The Sniper, is used to winning titles and is racking up the miles with regular trips from his Macduff home to train at the Granite City gym in Aberdeen.
Stuart said: “As an amateur I won Scottish titles and I want to continue being successful.
“I want to push for titles as a professional, that is the game plan. My immediate aim is to build a strong fanbase because I am still a little unknown compared to my brother, Billy.
“If I can put on a good performance in Aberdeen against McCauley, that will help build up that fanbase.”
During a successful amateur career, Stuart also won two British silver medals and competed in the world championships.
He began his career in the paid ranks with a 40-36 defeat of Casey Blair in Aberdeen last June. That was followed up with another emphatic 40-36 defeat of MJ Hall in Elgin in September.
Stuart is anticipating a tougher challenge on his return to the Granite City tonight.
He said: “McCauley is a journeyman but is known for giving boxers a hard time. Facing him will be a bit of a step up as he is a tough opponent.
“The two opponents I have faced so far landed the odd punch and grabbed on. However, McCauley comes to fight, which is better for me. I prefer when opponents throw punches, as I like countering.”
Stuart will box on the under-card tonight of three-weight Scottish champion Darren Traynor’s ring return, after an 18-month absence due to injury.
In preparation for the first fight of what he hopes will be a breakthrough year, Stuart has racked up sparring sessions. He went up against undefeated Aberdeen welterweight Dean Sutherland, who is set to box Basi Razaq in Paisley tonight.
Stuart said: “I sparred a few rounds with Dean Sutherland, which was good for me. Dean is a southpaw and has more experience of the pro ranks.
“I also sparred with Paul Kean (Dundee-based super-welterweight and Celtic champion).
“In preparation for this fight I also sparred with Ben Bartlett who is also on the Aberdeen show.”
Stuart regularly makes the near 100-mile, two-and-a-half-hour round trip from Macduff to Aberdeen.
At Granite City gym he trains alongside brother Billy, the Boxing Union of Ireland Celtic super-bantamweight champion who boasts a flawless pro return of 10 wins from 10.
He said: “When you are working full-time it is tiring to travel through to Aberdeen and train but you have to push through it.
“Although I can be tired when I turn up at the gym in the evening, by the time I have done my work I am absolutely buzzing.
“Some people think training could be a chore but I enjoy it. I get up in the morning and go for a run then go to work. After that I will go for a training session at night. All that hard work will eventually pay off.”
Boxing is in the Stuarts’ blood – as is winning titles. Callum said: “Billy and myself have both been boxing since we were seven or eight years old. We would spar together as kids.
“Boxing is all we have done and we both give everything to it.”