Lanark boxer Willie Hutchison was true to his word when he told his family at the turn of the year he’d end 2016 world youth light middleweight champion.
The Springhill Boxing Club amateur became the first-ever Scottish fighter to win gold at world youth level when he beat Kazakhstan’s Bek Nurmaganbet by a split decision in St Petersburg, Russia, at the end of last month.
The 18-year-old was the only athlete from a six-man Scottish team to return home with a medal around his neck for his efforts in Eastern Europe.
He said yesterday: “I told my mum, dad, my granny and grandad and all my family at the start of this year that I would become world champion.
“I can remember telling them so clearly so it’s amazing I’ve done it.
“My club and family gave me a little surprise when I got home so these are things that I’ll never forget.
“I don’t think it will ever sink in. I’m the first-ever from Scotland to become world champion at that level so I’ve made history.
“I’m finding it difficult to put into words what it means to be honest. The feeling I had when I won has carried on since I came home. I’m world champion. It’s just unbelievable.
Hutchison added: “I had a real tough draw, fighting the world number three in my first fight then the top boxers from both Hungary and Venezuela in the rounds thereafter.
“I beat the former world champion and number one seed in the final.”
It wasn’t just the level of opponent which made his achievement so remarkable – the schedule was also very demanding.
Hutchison added: “I ended up fighting five times in the space of just seven days which was pretty tiring.
“That’s me finished with youth boxing now that I’ve turned 18 so I’ll be making the step-up to senior level so what a way to finish.”
A former European Junior champion, Hutchison is now ready to make an impression on the senior circuit, with the Scottish Championships in March his immediate focus.
“I’ve definitely got my eye on the Gold Coast in Australia in 2018 and then the Olympics in 2020,” he said. “Why can’t I become an Olympian and win gold?
“No one in Scotland has managed to achieve what I’ve done winning both world and European gold medals. Even in Britain I can’t really think of many amateur world champions who haven’t gone on to compete at the Olympics.
“I’ve been training full-time for quite a while now. I’d like to maybe try to find some sponsorship to help with things as the only people who have ever helped me out has been my family.
“I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I’ve been at Springhill since I was nine when I used to go in and box in my pyjamas so they’ve been so supportive too.
“I’m going to have a little break over Christmas and just relax and enjoy myself before I get back into the swing of things. I’ll hopefully get the chance to have a pint or two as well to celebrate my win.”