Gordon Stevenson Saturday 17 January.
2014 may have been the year that he claimed a Commonwealth Games gold medal, became a hometown hero and a Scottish sporting household name almost over-night, before making a triumphant and much lauded professional debut and achieving cult hero status after a string of waggish TV interviews, but Charlie Flynn has admitted that he is even more excited about 2015.
Yet the outstanding young pugilist has revealed that he has used the festive period to take stock and reflect on his meteoric rise to prominence while re-grouping mentally for the next stage in his development. Flynn will take the next step of his professional career at the Thistle Hotel, Glasgow, in just under seven weeks’ time and is already booked to box on the massive Sky Sports televised, Matchroom promoted Geordie Roar Show, at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, on April 4, with the possibility of another four outings to follow before the year is out.
The 21 year-old has embarked on a brutal training regime, under the expert tutelage of master trainer Peter Harrison, which will bulk up his upper-body and add extra power to an arsenal of punches, which even after only one outing in pugilism’s paid punching ranks, has an impressive variety to it. Thus, Flynn’s enthusiasm to make the next move in his professional development unbridled, it is clear the young tyro is a man in a hurry: “There was a lot of hype before my debut but, definitely, winning the gold medal at the Commy Games really stood me in good stead for all of that and now I feel like I can move on and just concentrate on building my boxing career but 2014 is a year I will never forget, no doubt about it,” said Flynn. The Commonwealth Games lightweight gold medallist continued:
“The important thing is that I pace myself and don’t try and rush things. The pros is a learning experience and one that is going to be ongoing for a while for me, as it is a real journey. “But I have a great trainer in Peter Harrison who has been over the course before with Scott (Harrison) and I feel like at the Phoenix I have the best possible base to achieve everything I want to.
“The target is to be improving aspects of my game from fight-to-fight and come March 6, at the Thistle Hotel, I like to think that the progress I have made in that process will become apparent.” Such was the celebrity that his ebullient interview style garnered in the wake of his golden moment at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games that Flynn was sent-up on the Hogmanay edition of TV’s Only An Excuse, yet demonstrating impressive maturity the young boxer says humour is a vital part of his make-up and admitted that he revelled in the experience of being lampooned.
Flynn said: “Yeah, I did catch Only An Excuse on TV at Hogmanay and it was a laugh. My parents always taught me that if you can’t laugh at yourself then how can you laugh at anyone else? “So there is no way I am ever going to be taking myself so seriously that I can’t have a laugh. In life humour is a really important thing, it is a great release and I took it as a bit of a complement that they sent me up like they did. “But with the programme coming so soon after my first pro fight it just felt it was, like part of the reaction to that and it has all been really positive.
I never want to get to a stage where I can’t look in the mirror and see a smile there.” But the hard work for his next professional outing is already well under way and Flynn has no doubt that the lessons he learned from his four round debut victory over Ibrar Riyaz, on December 14, have been invaluable as he prepares for his second coming. “I learned a lot from my first professional fight against Ibrar Riyaz and it was great to get the four rounds under my belt. There was a world of difference in my first pro fight to any of the bouts I had in the Amateurs, Riyaz made it very difficult for me, in that he came to survive and it isn’t easy producing your best boxing when you have someone who is just interested in covering up against you,” revealed Flynn.
He continued: “After the first round I felt like I could have stopped him but Peter (Harrison), told me to take my time, concentrate on placing my shots and make the most of getting the four rounds under my belt for the first time. “But the great thing is that it was a learning experience for me right down to the different hand-wraps they use in the pros and the smaller eight ounce gloves.
“Maybe there was a bit of frustration on the night I didn’t take him out earlier but now looking back I’m glad I got the four rounds behind me and it has given me a good foundation to kick-on. “There was pressure on me to look good but I felt like I did enough to entertain the crowd, which is important, now I can’t wait for my next fight on March 6 to come around.” Tickets for Flynn’s second outing at the Thistle Hotel, priced £90 inclusive of five course meal and £50 inclusive of buffet, are now available tickets here