Gary Cornish, the highly-rated heavyweight from Inverness, will begin a new phase of his education at the Ironworks in his home city when he takes on the undefeated Hungarian Peter Erdos in an eight-round contest, writes Jim Black.
His manager, Tommy Gilmour, has an unfulfilled ambition to groom a British heavyweight champion and he believes that the 6ft 7in 25-year-old who have chalked up eight straight wins could make history by becoming the first Scot to achieve the feat.
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"Erdos will be an ideal test because he is also undefeated and you never know for sure what to expect in those situations," said Gilmour. "Erdos is older and more experienced and it is time for Gary to move up a level. We are finding that, as Gary's reputation grows, it's increasing difficult to match him with suitable opponents. He was in France for a week sparring with Michael Viera, a contender for his own national championship, which will stand him in good stead for challenges ahead. I turned down an offer for him to spar in Germany with the Klitschko brothers because I don't feel he is ready for that but reports of how he performed in France were encouraging."
Cornish, still a year or so away from a title contest of some description according to Gilmour, said: "France was an important learning process; sparring 52 rounds and holding my own against a boxer who features prominently in the European rankings has given me real encouragement."
The three-fight bill also features the undefeated local welterweight Alastair "Jasper" Chisholm against Paisley's Craig Kelly and David Savage, the dual Scottish bantamweight and super-featherweight champion, against the Glaswegian Ryan McNicol.
Scottish riders won two silver medals at the British Track Championships in Manchester last night, writes Colin Renton. Bruce Croall clocked a personal best of 1 minute 4.035 seconds to take silver in the kilometre time trial behind Kian Emadi, the Great Britain junior internationalist who posted a blistering time of 1:02.435, with Matt Rotherham third in 1:04.089.
Croall's City of Edinburgh team-mate Charline Joiner produced a gutsy effort in the women's 3km pursuit but also had to settle or silver. The Commonwealth Games team sprint medallist, who has moved up to endurance events, clocked 3min 54.037sec in qualifying, which secured her place in the final after it was beaten only by double world junior road race champion Lucy Garner. Joiner's time in the final was 3:55.085, but Garner improved to take gold in 3:52.414.
Kristian Thomas, who won bronze for Team Great Britain with Scotland's Dan Purvis at the Olympics in London, has been confirmed as a participant in the Glasgow World Cup at the new Commonweath Arena on December 8, writes Roddy Mackenzie. The one-day all-around competition will feature the top eight male and female gymnasts in the world and Thomas is the first name to be confirmed.
Tickets went on sale this week and the event is expected to draw a sell-out crowd, with Purvis, who won the event last year, also likely to be taking part. "I've heard amazing things about the venue and can't wait to see what it's like, and feel the atmosphere," said Thomas. "I go into every competition with high expectations and, after the Olympics, there is extra expectation but I'm already working hard for it. I'll be ready to put on a great show."
FIH WORLD LEAGUE ROUND 1
Scotland's men were comfortable winners of their second match of their World League pool to take top spot in the table and make qualification for the second round look a virtual formality, writes Craig Madden. They are a point ahead of Gibraltar and the latter have played a game more.
As against Morocco on Wednesday, the Scots started slowly and missed a couple of penalty corners before taking the lead through an own goal, when a long ball by Iain Scholefield cannoned off two Gibraltar defenders and eluded the goalkeeper. Just before the interval Allan Dick in the Scotland goal had to look lively to keep a clean sheet.
Eight minutes into the second half, Chris Nelson had a shot blocked by the keeper and Alan Forsyth was on hand to tuck home the rebound then Kenny Bain effectively sealed victory with a direct shot into the roof of the net from a penalty corner. A dribble by Chris Grassick took him past three defenders and he finished with a firm shot for the fourth, then Dan Coultas made it 5-0 from another setpiece in the closing minutes, his low drag-flick beating the keeper at his right hand post.
Their next game is against the hosts Portugal tomorrow and another win would secure at least second place and automatic qualification to the second round in the new year.
n Scotland's women lost 3-2 to South Africa in a training game in Dublin prior to the FIH Champions Challenge. The Scots led 2-1 through goals by Vikki Bunce, earning her 140th cap, and Nikki Lloyd from open play but South Africa, who play the Scots in the final pool match next Tuesday, turned it around.