He may be battered and bruised, but Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald is ready for the biggest fight of his life this evening.
The 22-year-old will go gunning for gold when he takes on India’s Mandeep Jangra in the final of the Commonwealth Games welterweight division in Glasgow.
The Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club ace has battled through four rounds in eight days to reach the gold medal match.
On Friday night, he defeated South Africa’s rangy Tulani Mbenge in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.
And despite having a cut above his eye – which he sustained in his second round bout against Ghana’s Azumah Mohammed – and general aches and pains all over his body, Fitzgerald is ready for one final big effort to clinch a glorious gold.
Tonight’s encounter should attract a big and raucous crowd as all the boxing finals have been moved to the nearby SSE Hydro Arena, which boasts a capacity of 13,000.
His dad Dave, who is also his trainer, said: “His body is in a bit of a bad way, but he is ready for one last big effort. It’s just one more step for gold.
“The Indian lad is a great boxer, but the mood Scott’s in, I wouldn’t bet against him.”
In the semi-final on Friday, Mbenge started at pace, but Fitzgerald’s left-right combinations and uppercuts also looked like they were going to cause the South African problems – and so it proved.
Fitzgerald dismissed his opponent’s shots and worked him from close, winning the first two rounds comfortably.
Mbenge did fight back to shade the last round and Fitzgerald, who is due on at 7-15pm tonight, was not altogether happy with his display.
“I was sloppy myself in the fight and that is the type of fighter he is.
“He is really tricky and dragged me into it.
“I threw a few wild shots and he tied up very well.It was hard to work inside him, but I got the job done in the end.”