Preston’s rising boxing star Scott Fitzgerald has hailed the impact that his father has had on his development.
After being tipped for the top since he shot to prominence by capturing the National ABA title in 2013, the 24-year-old is on the right path to stardom.
He won a glorious gold at the Commonwealth Games two years ago in Glasgow and has made a decent start to his professional career – winning his first fight in the paid ranks in February.
The future certainly looks bright for the former Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club star, although he freely admits things could have turned out differently.
Fitzgerald credits his father and former fighter Dave for keeping him focused on his boxing especially through his important teenage years.
“Over the years my dad’s trained me since I started and he kept me on track – well, as best he could,” Fitzgerald said
“He always kept on at me to carry on and I’ve got to thank him for that because I could have been doing other things.”
As well as the regular encouragement he received in the gym, another thing the former amateur ace was able to rely on his father for was financial help whenever things got tough – so long as he continued to dedicate himself.
“When I left school I worked with my dad too, so if we didn’t have work on he would still throw me some money, as long as I still trained through the week, so he really stayed on top of me.”
“I’m thankful for that and hopefully I can make loads of money and sort him out!”
Fitzgerald Snr was in his son’s corner as the former Our Lady’s High School pupil appeared on the undercard of the blockbuster super-bantamweight world title fight between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg at the Manchester Arena.
Now trained by respected Preston cornerman Karl Ince, Fitzgerald – who has only just returned to full fitness this year after hand and thumb injuries – got his pro career off to a great start by stopping Chippenham’s Ben Heap inside the third round.
The light-middleweight is now set for his second outing on Saturday when he takes on Robert Studzinski at the Liverpool Arena.
At 39-years-old, Studzinski is considerably older than Fitzgerald and has racked up 30 pro fights, although he has won only three of them.
Despite being the overwhelming favourite, Fitzgerald is not looking too far ahead and is using his early fights to build up his reputation.
He said: “I was buzzing to get in there against Ben Heap after nearly a year out of the ring.
“When I finally got in there, I was really happy. To get the stoppage win is what I went in there for, so that was a bonus.
“I just want to take a year to a year- and-a-half just learning the pro game and getting some experience.
“Studzinski is a strong, strong man but I plan not get hit by him.
“I am looking to be relaxed, go in there and get the job done”
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald’s stablemate Adam Simpson is primed for his second professional fight next month.
The Preston light-heavyweight is set to appear at Wigan Robin Park on Friday, April 22.