Nathaniel Collins (5-0) returns to the Paisley Lagoon Centre on Saturday, exactly a year after making his debut in the same venue. This time for an equally big occasion, as he takes on Monty Ogilvie (9-0) in the headline bout for the Celtic super-featherweight title, on the packed Kynoch Promotions event, ‘Thunder’. With it being only twelve months ago since he had his first professional bout, no-one would grudge the super-featherweight for continuing the same learning fights into next year; however, he has always had zero intention of delaying his progression in the professional ranks:
‘I wouldn’t say there is no need to fight journeymen, they are essential to the sport, but in my eyes it’s a waste of time, there’s boxers out there fighting 10/15 fights against journeymen and for what reason!? I’ve never had a struggle with them and don’t feel the same motivation to get up for a fight with them so it’s time to move on! I feel that I have what it takes to go far and this is the correct step forward at this time. Although it may seem like I am moving quickly, I am only 23 so I’m not rushing into anything but I want to keep testing myself and I know I will keep improving as I go.’
Part of the confidence and desire to progress quickly no doubt comes from his vast amateur experience. As a representative of Team Scotland at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, he is no stranger to the big stage; however Nathaniel tells me it’s more than that:
‘Although I would say a lot of this quick jump is down to my amateur experience, I would actually say more of it is down to my mindset. There are a lot of top amateurs who wouldn’t move this quick and they spend far too much time ‘learning the game’ but for me, the best way to learn is to get chucked in the deep end and you’ll either ‘sink or swim’. My attitude is – I know I can and will beat whoever they put in front of me and I’m ready to prove it!’
Just this time last year, Nathaniel entered the ring in his Jason style hockey mask keen to cause a stir and knocked up five wins against sturdy journeymen, causing a ‘Nightmare’ for all his opponents with his southpaw stance and constant flashy movement. He realises the importance of standing out and being memorable to get people talking and is looking forward to getting that opportunity on the ‘Thunder’ show:
‘I am buzzin’ to headline and put on a great show, I prefer the public shows over the dinner events, there is a lot more of an atmosphere and buzz about the place which suits my ring entrances. I’m here to be memorable, no-one knew me as an amateur and that annoyed me so when I turned professional, I wanted to change that! The mask is here to stay, I have a new kit and mask for this fight so keep your eyes peeled! It’s crazy to think that’s exactly a year on and how far I’ve come in such a short space of time but it makes me ten times more excited to see what the next year brings.’
Standing across the ring from Nathaniel on October 5th is fellow undefeated prospect, Monty Ogilvie. Although the Killen-based boxer has more experience in the pro ranks with nine wins so far, momentum will side with Nathaniel, as he has only had one fight this year while Nate has remained active throughout the whole year. Despite Monty having the advantage of being the ‘home fighter’ as he is managed by Sam Kynoch, he will be hoping to bring some travelling support as it will be the Glasgow-based boxer Nate, who finds himself closer to home. It actually won’t be the first time the two have shared a ring as the two have sparred in the past but Collins won’t be taking anything from that:
‘We’ve sparred a few rounds years ago but that’s nothing to go on in relation to this fight. I know he’s tough and fit but anyone who thinks I’m not fit and strong is very sadly mistaken. I know he is a Kynoch fighter and this is Kynoch show but I don’t plan on letting this be close enough to have anything to worry about. I am expecting to put on a dominant display!’
A quick glance at Nathaniel’s social media and you can see he is in incredible shape for this fight and he would like to thank Joe Ham Snr, his strength and conditioning coaches at Prolife Gym and Prep Co. Scotland for all their help in ensuring he is prepared for this opportunity to grab his first professional title.
If you are interested in heading along to an action-packed night of boxing, make sure and get in touch with Nathaniel Collins for tickets on social media.
Written by Allen Payne