SKY isn’t the limit for Lekan Obiora. The 29 year-old is hoping this will be the year his boxing career catches fire but in the meantime the Nigerian-born Glaswegian is also still putting in the hours for the broadcaster. Working from home for the most part suits him to a tee, letting the technical analyst clock off at the end of the day then get quickly changed before an evening run or a training session at the Colosseum gym in Hillington.

“I’m still with Sky and the arrangement is working out well,” says the Craig Dickson-trained fighter. “It means I can get on with training without worrying about having to commute as our offices are in London. I need to go down there once or twice a month so they don’t forget about me!

“But I’ve got that flexibility where I can work from home here in Glasgow. And that means I can focus on my boxing as well. It gives me more time to train. I’ve been back in Glasgow almost a year now and it’s good to go at my own pace, away from the London hustle and bustle. I’ve got everything that I need with my immediate family here with me.”

Obiora was the first signing made by St Andrew’s Sporting Club’s Head of Talent, Kash Farooq, a childhood friend who remains his mentor. Two undefeated appearances last year showcased his potential only for postponements and other setbacks to deny him further opportunities. The welterweight admits to being impatient as he looks to advance in the boxing game but is aware that it can often be a capricious beast.

“Last year didn’t go as planned,” he admits. “Moving from London and coming back to Glasgow I thought I’d be able to get things more rolling. I had hoped to be a lot busier in the ring but had a few fights called off. One of them was in September the day before the weigh-in. So that was quite frustrating.

“It’s hard when something like that happens. It’s tough mentally as you’ve put so much into a training camp and then you have no fight at the end. I’m someone who’s really disciplined, going to the gym and doing my runs and don’t usually need to be pushed. But for a couple of weeks after that call-off it was hard for me to get myself going again. Some nights I was saying to Craig, 'I’m not feeling it' but the type of trainer he is, he was always there for me, pushing me on and encouraging me. He never lets up!

“It’s not easy at times but you just have to find that thing that keeps you going. And I still managed to get two fights in and finished the year on a high so it wasn’t all bad.”

Another opportunity knocks for the man known universally as Chucks early in 2023. It’s a change of pace, Obiora enrolled in an eight-fighter, winner-takes-all tournament taking place on Saturday in Solihull. The boxer who comes through it all unscathed will claim the £20,000 prize on offer.

With each bout lasting a maximum of three rounds it is almost like a throwback to the amateur days, when contestants have to be willing to go hard from the first bell rather than feeling their way into a contest. But Obiora is up for the challenge.

“I’m buzzing that I’m getting out again so early in the year,” he adds. “It’s a different format, with quarters, semis and then hopefully the final, all done over three rounds. I’m going in to win it. I might have to change my style a little bit with so few rounds to work with but I’m prepared for it. Whatever the other boys bring I’ll be ready.”

His manager, Iain Wilson, is a man who likes to plan ahead and so Obiora knows what could potentially lie in wait further down the line, especially if he can sparkle in Solihull.

“We’re hoping to try for a title, depending on how this event goes,” he revealed. “If we get what we want we’ll maybe look to set up a title fight for spring or early summertime. Iain’s looking to get me on a couple of the St Andrew’s shows this year so, if it all goes well, it’s going to be busy. Last year didn’t go as planned but hopefully this one is better. You can only make plans in your head as you never know what’s around the corner. But I’m feeling optimistic.”