Nathaniel Collins makes 2022 bow at Trump Turnberry and hopes to follow Josh Taylor route to world title glory

Champion Bearsden boxer Nathaniel Collins returns to the ring on Friday night when he takes on Mexico’s Uriel Lopez.

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Commonwealth champion Nathaniel Collins – aka The Nightmare – is gearing up for a big year in 2022 (pic: Michael Gillen)
Commonwealth champion Nathaniel Collins – aka The Nightmare – is gearing up for a big year in 2022 (pic: Michael Gillen)

The six-round non-title bout at Trump Turnberry is a ‘keep busy’ fight for the 25-year-old former Bearsden High School pupil as he prepares to defend his Commonwealth featherweight title in the spring.

Collins, who turned pro after fighting for Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, won the title by beating Ghana’s Felix Williams at Hamilton Accies’ Fountain of Youth Stadium last July.

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He then successfully defended in Bolton in November, knocking out previously undefeated South African Thembani Mbangatha to take his record as a pro to nine wins from nine fights.

But, like most boxers, Collins’ ultimate ambition is to be a world champion.

And his manager Sam Kynoch, promoter of tomorrow’s Fightzone Fight Night bill, believes he has what it takes to follow the trazil blazed by Scottish boxing’s current shining star, undisputed world light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor.

He said: “2021 was a real breakout year for Nathaniel and this fight's just about keeping the momentum.

"His nickname's The Nightmare and he is a bit of a nightmare of you're in the ring with him. He's a southpaw, he's got good skills, he keeps super fit and keeps coming.

"His boxing ability, engine and punch volume and output are fantastic. He's not lost a round yet as a pro, so he's a fighter we can move really quickly.

"Nathaniel's very ambitious, he's happy to be the Commonwealth champion and in line to fight a British eliminator and, if the British title's vacant, that's there for us. But his ultimate goal is being a world champion and all the titles on the way to that are ancillary.

“The matchmaking of Josh Taylor was first class to get him to the position he's in. It's all about the right fights at the right time.

"With Nathaniel, I'm not going to be stupid in taking chances.

"He’s always fit, so if somebody drops out of a major fight, I wouldn't be shy in sticking him in. But he's got a title and we've got plans. We're not cap in hand waiting on the sidelines. We'll create the opportunities and then it's up to him to seize them."