JOHN DOCHERTY’S first impression of Fight Camp was that it reminded him of the Commonwealth Games.

Given the Montrose boxer claimed a bronze medal for Scotland two years ago on Gold Coast that has probably got to be a good thing.

After watching the first two fight nights on television at home, the super-middleweight is discovering for himself this week just what it’s like to be inside the bubble that promoter Eddie Hearn has created in the grounds of his Matchroom estate to allow competitive boxing to return in a safe environment.

Docherty travelled the short distance from his gym in Essex on Monday to enter what’s been dubbed Barry’s Son’s Square Garden, where he was tested for Covid-19 and then quarantined inside the on-site hotel.

There he will remain until his fight against Anthony Fox on Friday at which point he will attempt to put all the external peculiarities out of his mind to try to manoeuvre himself a step closer to a shot at the British title.

“I can’t wait now for this opportunity,” he said. “I watched the first two camps and spoke to my gym-mate Ted [Cheeseman] about his experiences and he said it was really good.

“I liked how they turned down the fake crowd noises on TV last week and you could hear what the corners were saying. It was like sparring when you can hear every punch landing.

“So that’s just made me even more keen to be part of it. When I watched it on television with the hotel and all the other buildings dotted around the place it reminded me a bit of being at the Commonwealth Games. I can see similarities to that.

“It’s all just about making things work in a difficult situation and Eddie has done an unbelievable job to pull everything together. I’m just grateful that he’s chosen to put me on this show. And now I need to repay him for that.”

The pandemic has derailed the 22 year-old’s progress this year and there is an evident sense of relief that Hearn has been able to come up with an arrangement that meets all of the stringent requirements to allow him to step back into the ring.

Like someone keen to get the dog out for a walk before the forecast thunderstorm arrives, however, the undefeated Docherty just wants to get another fight under his belt before a second wave of the virus shuts down live sport once again.

“I’m keen to get going again and add another win to my record,” he added. “Hopefully it will be a knock-out so I can put out a statement to the rest of the division that I’m coming for them.

“The British title is still my next target and a good win in this fight should take me closer to that. But we don’t know how things are going to play out over the next few months.

“I basically want to get my fight out the way as I think there’s going to be a second wave of Covid-19 coming around and everything will stop again. I need to get this done and then I won’t have to worry about that for a while. And when Covid finally goes away then I’ll be on the hunt for titles.”

Docherty has a curious hybrid of an accent, a legacy of a childhood spent on the move and a professional career honed down south under the watchful eye of trainer Tony Sims.

Montrose, though, will always be home, and a hero’s welcome tends to await whenever he returns.

“My mum, dad and my little brother still live there so I go back home after every fight if I can,” he added. “And my granny and grandad are there too. So I’m always happy to get back when I can.

“Everyone knows everyone in Montrose so people always stop for a chat. If I go out to the pub with my dad there’s always a nice welcome or folk asking for a photo or how you’re getting on. It’s always a nice feeling to get that backing from my hometown.”

Docherty has fought professionally only once in Scotland, a first-round stoppage of Wilmer Gonzalez at the Hydro in Glasgow last year. He is eager for a repeat, however, on a card packed full of Scottish talent once fans are allowed back.

“I know Scotland will always back me all the way and I’d love to get a show up there soon,” he added. “Everything I do is for my country. I’d love to get a title fight in Scotland one day. But before that even just a big show anywhere with all the best Scottish fighters on the card would be brilliant.”