Undefeated super-bantamweight Billy Stuart today vowed to take another step towards his target of taking out the “top boys” in his weight division.
The 21-year-old Aberdeen-based Northern Sporting Club affiliated boxer is determined to make 2019 the year he secures a first professional title.
Boasting seven wins from seven fights, Stuart, aka The Butcher, will tonight bid to extend his flawless record when facing Michael Mooney at the DoubleTree by Hilton Aberdeen Treetops Hotel.
A former two-time British champion and eight-time Scottish title holder in the amateurs, Stuart aims to make his name resonate in the paid ranks.
He said: “This is my first fight of 2019 and I am looking for this to be a big year for me.
“Last year there were a few disappointments with people pulling out and titles not coming through.
“This year I am looking for titles and that is what we intend to do towards the end of the year.
“I am moving up the rankings.
“I am ranked 15 in Britain at super-bantamweight.
“In my last fight there was a replacement late on, so I had to move up a weight and fight at featherweight.
“However I am still in the top 20 at featherweight as well.
“Super-bantamweight is the division I will be fighting in and I am looking to take out all the top boys in that.
“It is exciting times for me.”
Macduff-born and raised, Stuart extended his impressive record to seven wins with a comprehensive 60-54 defeat of Ukrainian Dmytro Kostenko last November.
Rated as one of the most exciting emerging prospects in Scottish boxing, his rising reputation presented sparring opportunities with world-class opponents.
Last year during a trip to the United States the Butcher sparred at the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles, run by legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach trained eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, three-time world champion James Toney and four-division world title holder Miguel Cotto.
He was so impressed by Stuart he organised a sparring session at his Hollywood-based gym where Stuart went toe to toe with Filipino legend Donnie Nietes.
Undefeated in 20 world title fights, Nietes recently secured a world belt at a fourth division when defeating Kazuto Ioka for the WBO super-flyweight title.
Stuart has previously sparred with former two-weight world champion (super-bantamweight and featherweight) Carl Frampton and Ukranian Zhanat Zhakiyanov ahead of his world title defence.
Stuart said: “Super bantamweight is a division I can excel at and I am really looking forward to making my mark.
“I like the big fights as it gives that extra motivation to train and get up in the morning.
“When I train for a fight I leave absolutely no stone unturned.
“I was down sparring with Craig Morgan (featherweight, three wins from three fights) who is a prospect from Kelty and a weight above me. “Sparring gets you sharpened up for the fight.”
Before turning pro in 2017 Stuart had racked up a succession of prestigious titles and claimed silver at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
His successful youth and amateur career came out of the Byron Boxing Club in the city’s Northfield.
Former Byron ABC clubmate John Docherty, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, turned pro with Matchroom Boxing.
Also boasting a flawless pro record, Docherty has fought live on Sky at arenas such as the O2.
Stuart aims to also make a major impact nationally this year.
He said: “I want to start getting my name out there. I aim to show everybody what I am about. Some people have heard of me but have not actually seen me fight.
“I am not being big headed but a lot of people do not understand how good I am.”
The Butcher will compete on a bill tonight that also includes Northern Sporting Club’s Kristen Fraser.
Fraser will take to the ring for the first time since becoming the first Scottish woman to win a Commonwealth title. She will face Bojana Libszewska of Poland, a former WIBF world title contender.
Stuart said: “We have Kristen who has a Commonwealth title and myself at Northern Sporting Club who is looking for titles this year.
“There is also Darren Traynor and Marek Laskowski.”
Aberdeen’s Boris Crighton will face Tayer Mehmed while Andrew Smart boxes Mohamed Mahmoud.