For many of us the festive period marks minimal exercise, partying and over-eating and, as I trawl through Instagram, it appears many professional boxers are no different in taking some well-deserved rest after a busy year. One account that caught my eye featured “stories” taken at the wee hours and pictures of food. But while some of his peers were in nightclubs and tanning calorific meals, the Celtic featherweight champion, Nathaniel Collins was opting for picturesque sunrise runs, gruelling circuits and guilt-free plates.

“The Doha [Qatar] experience was looming for a while. My uncle has been out there for about five years – so I thought I’d pay him a visit. He sources and designs all of the sports facilities for the national service out there. I was doing mostly crossfit, which is really popular out there and strength work as well as running. The food there was much like anywhere, you can eat healthy or rubbish but I was eating healthy and I tried some traditional food. But it was great, there’s a lot more options for healthy eating in terms of cafes etc…But leading into the festive period has been a struggle, as we all know I like my food – so it’s been difficult to keep under control at that time of year!”

Nathaniel’s last bout was in October, in his statement win against fellow undefeated Scot, Monty Ogilvie. In a bout that was supposed to be ‘close’, Collins dominated from the opening bell, dropping Monty five times before eventually stopping him in the fifth round. He will be looking to continue where he left off as he returns to the ring January 30th.

“Reflecting on 2019, I’m happy with how it went – I moved fast, made my own little mark and showed what I’m all about. I showed my class, skill but also power! It couldn’t have went much better in my opinion!”

Having spoken with ‘The Nightmare’ on numerous occasions, I know he’s a big believer in setting goals, with the new year upon us and his fight just around the corner, I was intrigued to hear what his 2020 ‘dreams’ would be.

“I am actually still to do my goal-setting mind map and hang it up but roughly, I want 6 bouts at least this year and to pick up another title by the end of the year. I was happy to pick up my first title so I don’t want to ease off and lose that momentum, I just want to keep pushing forward!”

“For January 30th, I will be doing a 6 rounder to get back into the swing of things and get going again – I’m looking forward to it! Josh Warrington will be there so it’ll be good to have the world champ at my weight looking on… who knows he might even want a bit of southpaw sparring for Shakur Stevenson!”

Collins returns to the ring, January 30th as part of the Burns Night Boxing Supper at the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow, promoted by the St. Andrews Sporting Club. It will be a black-tie event featuring dinner, three professional boxing bouts and special guest, IBF World Champion, Josh Warrington. If you are interested in attending, please contact Nathaniel Collins via social media.