For a split second on Monday, Dave Fitzgerald was forced to pinch his own skin and wonder if he should be believing what he was seeing.
The Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club trainer was inside the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, in Glasgow, to watch his son Scott take on Ghana’s Azumah Mohammed in the second round of the Commonwealth Games welterweight competition.
Also present inside the arena watching the Preston fighter was none other than the future King of England – Prince William and his wife Kate.
The bout proved to be a bit of a gory affair as Fitzgerald recovered from the shock of suffering the first ever cut of his career in the opening round to outpoint the Ghanaian.
The bloodied face of the 22-year-old Prestonian appeared to make the future Queen of England and her husband wince, but smiles returned to their faces on the big screen when Fitzgerald’s arm was held aloft to signal victory at the end of the bout.
“That made me laugh when they – William and Kate – came into the arena on Monday,” Dave Fitzgerald said.
“They obviously came to watch Scott with him being English.
“The fight was a bit of bloodbath in terms, but they were both were cheering and singing Scott’s name.
“I was thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, we’ve got Royalty here singing Scott’s name – is that right’?
“It was weird.
“I think there’s a headline in one of the national newspaper which says, ‘What made the prince wince’.
“It just showed a picture of the two of them and it said that they both watched Scott’s fight and it was a bit of a blood bath.”
After overcoming St Lucia’s Ron Bastien in his opening bout with the first knockout of the competition, Fitzgerald’s win over Mohammed means he now faces 25-year-old New Zealander Bowyn Morgan at the quarter-final stage tonight.
The Larches and Savick ABC star will be hoping the cut he suffered above the eye on Monday night will not hinder him when he faces the Kiwi.
“He’s got that cut and we’ll be hoping that doesn’t reopen,” his dad said.
“He’s adamant that he’s going to beat him tonight and he’s not thinking think about the cut – he just thinks there’s no stopping him.
“If it does reopen then the referee could stop the fight.
“But I thought he dealt with the cut when it happened really well. It’s the first time it’s happened to him, but he didn’t even flinch.
“It didn’t worry him – the Ghanaian lad was using his head all the time.
“But Scott boxed well – he struggled a little bit because blood was going in his eye, but they managed to stop it bleeding and sealed it up.
“So we’ll just see how it goes tonight.” Fitzgerald’s progress in Glasgow appears to have caught the imagination of the people in Preston.
He has been cheered on in his first two fights by a raucous band of supporters who have travelled north of the border.
And they are expected to be in the arena once more this evening.
“Everybody seems to be talking about it,” said Dave, who has travelled from Preston to Glasgow by rail to see his son in action.
“Everywhere I go people have been coming up to me saying, ‘I watched your son’.
“I can’t believe how many people have been watching it.
“I bet there must have been around 80 to 100 people from Preston watching his fight on Monday.
“He gets a lot of support anyway being English – people who have just come to watch the Commonwealth Games from England have been getting behind him.
“When his name gets announced before he comes out, there seems to be a big cheer for him.
“They seem to like him – it’s probably because of the way he knocked the lad out in his first fight.”