Preston’s Commonwealth Games boxing champion Scott Fitzgerald has set his sights on gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games – and will reject any overtures to turn professional
The 22-year-old star, who defeated India’s Mandeep Jangra in the final of the welterweight competition at the SSE Hydro Arena on Saturday night, has won many plaudits for the way he has performed in Glasgow.
There has been talk that some eager and impressed boxing promoters are ready to make the Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club star an offer to turn professional.
Although one day he would like to join the paid ranks, Fitzgerald is eager to fulfil his Olympic dream and will dismiss any notion of turning pro – for now.
“I am hoping to go to the Olympics in two years’ time,” Fitzgerald told the Evening Post.
“I need to get more experience on the international stage even before I think about turning pro. I am still very inexperienced at that level.
“Hopefully, after winning gold I will be going on to the England podium squad which will mean my money will get upped and I will be training with the podium squad full-time.
“In another two years, I am hoping I will be ready to go to the Olympics and win gold. That has always been my plan – to go to the Commonwealths and then get to the Olympics.
“After the Olympics I will then probably look to turn pro.
“I’ve still got time on my side. In two years, I will only be 24.”
Despite his Commonwealth Games success, Fitzgerald does not believe he will be considered as one of the favourites to become Olympic champion.
“The Commonwealth Games is a very good competition but the standard is not as good as the World Championships,” he added.
“You don’t have some of the top nations in the world like Russia or Kazakhstan or Ukraine competing in the Commonwealths.
“I don’t think I am at that level just yet, although I definitely think I have shown that I am up there.
“The Indian lad who I beat in the final was ranked 11th in the world and I think the Canadian fighter in our competition is No.8 in the world.
“I am not one of the favourites but I have got two years of improvement and I think I have shown what I can do.”
In the next few weeks, Fitzgerald is hoping to take some time away from the sport and go on holiday.
On Sunday night he celebrated his success with his first alcoholic drink since Christmas Day.
First though he will need to get a MRI scan on his injured right hand, which he damaged when he knocked out Ron Bastien, of St Lucia, in his first bout in Glasgow.
“I am hoping I won’t need an operation on my hand,” Fitzgerald said.
“Hopefully, it will just need time to heal.”