Boxer Kevin Traynor is following in the footsteps of friend and pro Monty Ogilvie – and following on from Mike Tyson too!
The 30-year-old will enter the ring as a professional boxer for the first time next month when he meets fellow debutante Craig Leadbitter from Aberdeen.
‘Fighting the Stigma’ is an open air boxing event at Livingston FC’s stadium in West Lothian raising funds and awareness for mens’ mental health charities.
“I think it’s also the first open air boxing bout in Scotland since Mike Tyson fought at Hampden in 1996.
“That’s quite good when you think of it like that, but I’m looking forward to finally getting out there, it’s been a long time coming.”
The ‘Denny Warrior’, as he’s known, currently holds three semi-pro titles – the Scottish UBBF title and the Scottish and British UBKA belts.
Training out of Urban Guerillas in Bankside, he’s taken the long way round to joining his friend Monty in the pro ranks.
“It’s known more as an MMA gym but that’s where I’m based. I’m the first boxer to go pro from there.
“Back in the day I did a lot of amateur boxing when I was younger but in my mid-20s I began to fall away from it.
“After about 13 amateur bouts I lost my way. It was pretty much just laziness, to be honest.
“I spent three years doing very little but then I gave myself a shake and began training again and went semi-pro because I looked at Monty and what he was achieving.
“He is really doing well so it inspired me to get back into it.
“I used to train with him a lot – I’d beat him up in the gym when we were younger and sparring.
“It’s very much changed days now though!”
After meeting UG boss Barry Thompson he moved into the semi-pro ranks and now the pro ranks with the June 15 date at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
“It’s time for the step up. I’ve taken the long way round and I know I’m late to go pro, but the time is right.
“My last opponent was an ex-professional and I saw him off in the first round of our fight in March – so I feel I’m ready.”
As well as earning him his first purse it’ll also raise money and awareness for men’s mental health charities.
Kevin added: “It’ll be the first time I’ve fought and though I’ve never done much fundraising for the charities in the past it’s something I’d like to do more of.
“I know friends who have struggled with their mental health so this is not only my debut it’s helping out good causes which are important to myself and my friends too.”
Tickets start at £20/£10 and £50 for a family. Call 07916868922 or visit Warriors Gym in Whitburn.