Lochee Amateur Boxing Club’s Jerry Howett believes two of his brightest talents can follow in the footsteps of rising star Sam Hickey.
Head coach Howett has high hopes for his son Brendan and Luca Flynn and thinks they have just as much potential as former Lochee ABC boxer Hickey – now training with Team Scotland in Glasgow.
Both have enjoyed winning starts to the year with Howett (19) earning gold at the Northern District Open Championships 10 days ago. Flynn (12) registered a silver at the same event, following up from his gold at the Scottish Intermediate Championships.
And Howett, who comes from a boxing family entrenched in the Lochee community, is delighted with how the pair are progressing.
He said: “Luca did well to win at the intermediate Scottish Championships. He had to fight three times, beating last year’s Scottish champion in the semis.
“He lost to him in the final of the Northern District Championships but a silver from that is still very good.
“He was a bit disappointed but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
“Brendan did really well to win the Northern District. He had to fight twice against a couple of tough boys.”
Howett feels all his young stars can aspire to reach the heights of former Lochee greats Billy Buchanan, Ronnie Clark and Mike Towell.
“Luca used to do gymnastics, which was a bit of a help when he first came but he’s took to the movement in boxing really well.
“We’ve got high hopes for him going forward. He could win the Scottish Open Championships at the end of the month.
“Luca’s dedication is good and Brendan will get up in the morning to go running and look after his diet.
“Brendan’s in for the Senior Open Championships in March, which is a big one because it counts towards being picked for the Commonwealth Games squad in 2022.
“He went last year and did well in his first season as a senior so he’s hoping to go one better.
“We’ve had Sam, who’s full-time with Boxing Scotland and has went on to earn European medals and win the British Championships, so he’s progressing well.
“It’s good to see them taking their chances and there’s more talent to come – Ali Mahmood, Logan Howett and Lennon Mitchell for example.
“Sam is travelling all over now. He’s had assessments with the British squad as well but not quite got in there. Even young Luca is working his way through the Boxing Scotland system. He’s one for the future.”
It can be stressful but Howett believes the rewards are worth it.
“The building wasn’t getting used for a while but we got it back up and running again with our boxing section. It’s a good place for the kids to come up and get involved, you try to give everyone a chance.
“We had a young boy who came up with really severe autism, he was just 13 and came up on his own but he’s was here for a couple of years now and it helped him loads.
“Sometimes I felt like walking away because it’s tough and a big commitment but I love it too much.
“It started up again with my brother Andy and I running it, travelling all over Scotland and the UK to tournaments just to get the boys fights. We’ve got a lot of help now from coaches like Jamie Downie, Sean Reilly and Scott Cunningham. It’s been a real community and family here since 1946.”