BOXING Gary Cornish, the undefeated heavyweight from Inverness, endorsed his credentials against the Croat Hrvoje Kisicek at the St Andrew's Sporting Club on Monday evening by registering a second-round stoppage in his 18th contest.
In doing so, the 27-year-old has taken another significant step towards fulfilling his manager Tommy Gilmour's dream of guiding a Scot to the British title for the first time.
Cornish forced British Boxing Board of Control officials to sit up and take notice of Gilmour's insistence that he should be nominated for a title eliminator by flooring Kisicek three times, including landing a stunning right to the head.
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Cornish continued to display remarkable patience after the bout, claiming: "I am not frustrated by the lack of big title contests. I have to beat the guys who are put in front of me and when Tommy gets me a title fight I will be more than ready.
"My aim is always just to win my next fight. That is as far ahead as I look although it would be great to get on the Dereck Chisora-Tyson Fury undercard in July in front of a huge crowd and a global TV audience. I have sparred with Chisora, Audley Harrison and David Price, but I had a limited amateur career spanning just nine bouts.
"When I turned pro, Tommy said it would be 20 fights before I would go anywhere and I think I have pretty much improved with every contest. My plan against Kisicek was to box more by taking everything slower and I am quite happy with how I performed to get a stoppage. I want to stay as busy as possible. I had not fought for nearly six months.
"I felt a wee bit rusty, but the type of anaerobic training I do with my coach, Paul Geddes, is like having a fight every week. My power, speed and fitness have come on leaps and bounds in my last six fights and it is all starting to gel."