PAUL KEAN could not have asked for much more. After chirping in manager Sam Kynoch’s ear for years about bringing big-time boxing back to his hometown of Dundee, the 30 year-old has not only been given that chance but does so this time with a major title on the line.

His second-round stoppage of Sulaimon Olagbade in the Caird Hall last year was just the precursor for the real stuff tonight when the super-welterweight takes on Louis Greene for the Commonwealth title. Kean (16-2) has been around the houses a bit since making his professional debut seven years ago but it has all been working towards this moment. Should he go on to lift that belt in front of a packed house of his fellow Dundonians it will make that graft, toil and sacrifice all worthwhile.

“I’m really buzzing for this one as it’s the biggest night of my career,” he says. “And to do it in Dundee – it couldn’t really get any better. I’ve been trying to get a fight in my hometown since I turned professional. There aren’t that many venues here that could host boxing shows. There’s Caird Hall but in the early days it was maybe a wee bit too big for me and the hotels were probably too small. But it’s perfect timing now and it’s close to a sell-out.

“I tend to sell a lot of tickets anyway and I’ve had a lot of support from family and friends who’ve travelled down regularly to Glasgow and other places. And that’s not cheap. So for this fight to be on their doorstep is ideal. That’s great for everyone in the city and I’m looking forward to having a noisy home backing for this one.”

Standing in his way will be the champion. Greene (15-3) claimed the belt by stopping Kean’s Kynoch Boxing stablemate, Dean Sutherland, who was also fighting out of his hometown of Aberdeen. Kean hasn’t focused too much on that contest but knows he is in for one of the toughest nights of his career.

“He’s a good fighter – you’re not Commonwealth champion for no reason,” he adds. “But if you want these title fights you’ve got to face the best out there. I feel it’s a great fight for me stylistically and coming at the right time. I’ve not spoken to Dean too much about his fight. I actually think Dean’s the better fighter but maybe fought the wrong fight on the day. Louis Greene is a tough, tough guy so anyone standing there trying to trade with him will be in for a hard night.”

Kean has claimed IBO Continental and Celtic titles over the past 18 months but there is no doubting this is the most high-profile contest of his career since 2020 when, during the Covid lockdown, he became one of the first boxers to return to the sport when he travelled to London to fight Hamzah Sheeraz for the European strap.

Although it was an unsuccessful mission against a boxer who has since moved onto world title contention, the Dundonian believes he has learned and grown from the experience.

“It sounds like a bit of a cliché but in hindsight having that fight was a bit of a blessing in disguise,” he adds. “It was in the middle of lockdown so my preparation was terrible. But off the back of that I changed everything, even physically. I look completely different now to then.

“I’ve got probably the best strength and conditioning coach in Scotland and the best nutritionist in the UK for boxers in Lee Rickards. He’s sorted all my diet for me – he’s on at me every single day! But it’s all helped to make sure everything is on point for the fight. When you’re younger you think you know better but through time and experience you learn to do everything more professionally and take advice from experts on board. And the more experienced you get, the more relaxed you are before a fight. You learn to take it all in your stride.”

Boxing consumes Kean. Trained by his dad, the pair also run Skyaxe Combat and Fitness Gym in Dundee around their other commitments.

“We’ve been running the gym for a few years now and that’s going brilliantly too,” he confirms. “It’s the perfect job for a boxer being in the gym all day. I train myself at 11am and 4pm every day and then I take classes at night and sometimes in the morning too. Me and my dad just bounce off each other and when I’m in camp for a fight we just adjust the schedules a bit. It’s no problem at all.”

A tartan tear-up between Kean and Sutherland would be hugely appealing, especially in the north-east, should the Dundee man win tonight. Unsurprisingly, though, he’s not looking too far ahead. “I don’t know about that one,” he says with a laugh “It’s just one step at a time for now.”