Scottish heavyweight hope Gary Cornish gets his first crack at international honours next month.
The Highlander faces Hungarian Zoltan Csala for the IBO intercontinental championship at Glasgow’s Bellahouston Leisure Centre on Saturday, May 23.
Inverness-born Cornish – who stretched his unbeaten record to 20 wins (11 KOs) with a first round knockout of Croatian Marino Goles last month – faces his toughest test yet in the form of Csala.
Nicknamed ‘Furioso’, the 33 year-old has won eight of his nine pro contests (six KOs) and is ranked 53 places above Cornish in the world rankings, at no.70.
Manager Tommy Gilmour said: “Gary only had nine amateur fights, so his pro career so far has been a steady process of education and learning his trade. He’s passed every test put in front of him with honours, so to now see leading UK companies William Hill Bookmakers, Electrical Engineers Arthur Mc Kay and Southwark Metals becoming involved as sponsors shows it’s now time to step him up in class and see if he has what it takes to succeed at the next level.
“There are plenty of journeymen out there, but Csala is the right fight for him because he has ambitions of his own and has only lost one fight. He’s also boxed at a high level and this is reflected in his world ranking, which is more than 50 places above Gary.
“But Gary’s looking forward to the fight because he knows these are the obstacles he has to overcome if he’s to fulfil his ambition of becoming Scotland’s first ever major heavyweight champion.”
Also at ringside will be Kellie Maloney, who recently returned to boxing following gender reassignment surgery. As Frank Maloney, she guided Lennox Lewis to world championship honours – and Gilmour believes she can also assist him with Cornish.
He added: “I always had a great working relationship with Frank and when Kellie announced she was coming back to boxing I asked her to get involved as a consultant with Gary because her experience of heavyweights is invaluable.
“She’ll be ringside on the 23rd so it will be good to have her back in Scotland because Frank was always popular with the crowds up here.”
Cornish jointly tops the bill with Paisley light-middleweight Kris Carslaw.
The joint Chris Gilmour and Iain Wilson promotion also features former Commonwealth light-welterweight title challenger Eddie Doyle, Scottish lightweight champion Jordan McCorry and hard-hitting Scottish light-middleweight champion Mike Towell of Dundee.
Uddingston’s Michael McGurk, Bannockburn’s James Thomson and Telford’s Tony Jones make up the rest of the bill.
Ticket are available from all the boxers on the bill as well as from the office on 0141 810 5700.
Prices are: £40 -unreserved arena, £60- reserved ringside and £100 VIP Inner-Ringside (includes a pre fight reception)