A young Skye man has been forging out a burgeoning reputation for himself in the boxing ring.
Andrew Coogan recently won a Scottish novice boxing title, and now the lightweight fighter from Breakish has targeted further success in the ring.
The 22-year-old is a late boxing convert, having taken up the sport just two years ago – initially to improve fitness.
So far Andrew, who trains at the Highland Boxing Academy in Inverness, has had 10 fights and won seven of them. The highlight of his career came last month when he won the Scottish novice title in the lightweight (56kg) division at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell. Andrew had to fight three times in a week to take the title, scoring one knock-out victory and a further two wins by virtue of unanimous points decisions.
He’s now aiming to get a few more fights under his belt, to allow him to move up and box at intermediate level. The Scottish intermediate championships take place in January, and boxers need to have fought at least 14 times in order to take part.
Andrew, who was based in Inverness while at college and is now at home on Skye working for his brother’s building firm, said: “I began going the gym in Inverness just to improve my fitness. I never would have believed that I would be winning a championship two years later. It has really given me some momentum to try to improve.”
Though based in Skye, Andrew travels to the city for training with coach Liam Foy. He trains up to six days a week in preparation for a fight, and had to shed the pounds in a bid to make the 56kg weight for the recent championships.
Andrew had been due to take part in a top night of boxing at the Northern District Championships in the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness last Saturday. However, there was disappointment for the Skye fighter – and his supporters – as the bout was cancelled when the minibus carrying his scheduled opponent broke down on the road north.
The Skye boxer’s next scheduled fight will be in a fortnight’s time, when the Inverness club travel to Dundee to take on boxers from the Lochee club.
Andrew was one of five boxers from the Highland Boxing Academy to win a title at this year’s novice championships in Motherwell.