HE’S dreaming of packing a punch at the Commonwealths and talented Inverkeithing boxer Harrison Baxter has already left Scotland’s best on the canvas.
The 12-year-old was in action at the Boxing Scotland School and Junior Championships at Ravenscraig, Motherwell, at the end of February and claimed his first Scottish title while creating a bit of history for his boxing club in the process.
Harrison, an S1 pupil at Inverkeithing High School, defeated Aaron Cullen, of Linwood, by unanimous decision in the semi-final of the schoolboy 2004 35.5kg competition to set up a final with Lochend Boxing Club team-mate, and pal, Calum Smith.
It was the first time in the history of the prestigious Edinburgh club, who count Glasgow 2014 gold medallist Josh Taylor among its stable, that two club-mates had contested the final and it was the West Fifer who came out on top courtesy of a split decision.
His victory, which came after he narrowly missed out on an Eastern District belt in January, means he can now boast of being a national champ in both boxing and kickboxing, which he left behind in November 2015 as a three-time world champion to pursue his dream of following in the footsteps of hero Floyd Mayweather.
Harrison is now set to prepare to compete at British level later this year and proud dad Sean said: “He never got a fight at the Scottish intermediates three weeks ago because the boy Harrison was meant to fight never made the weight. It was the same lad he had in the semi-final and he stopped him in the first round, before he had to fight his team-mate in the final. It was the first time in history that Lochend had two team-mates in the final; they spar together regularly but he put that aside and did what he had to do.
“He’s done well and is over the moon, especially since he’s not had a fight since last May apart from the Eastern Districts. He’s a Scottish champion in two sports, which is pretty unique, and has a chance at going to the British Championships. He’ll go through to Glasgow for some training with Boxing Scotland.
“The main coach at the club, Terry McCormack, worked with him for a bit on Saturday, which was special, and, since he’s joined the boxing club, his confidence is really high.”
He added: “You can see at a lot of clubs the kids are like mini professionals and he has a great future ahead of him, regardless of what happens (at the British Championships).
“He’s still only 12 – he’s not 13 until September – and has worked hard and been patient. It will be a great experience but he absolutely loves the sport.
“I can’t see him giving it up!”