PICTURES: Tonight's the night for Elgin Boxing Club fighter Fraser Wilkinson to make his professional debut in the headline bout at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow, while sparring partner Lukas Vaitekunas fights for the Boxing Scotland junior open championship title on Sunday
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WHILE Moray boxer Fraser Wilkinson tops the bill in his first professional fight in Glasgow tonight, his sparring partner is hoping to become a Scottish champion.
Elgin Boxing Club product Wilkinson (20) meets Blackpool’s Dale Arrowsmith in the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow in his first bout since signing for Kynoch Boxing Scotland.
The bout has been elevated to the top of the bill after one boxer pulled out from the previous headline fight.
'Wilko' is confident of making a winning debut, and will then turn his focus towards young protege Lukas Vaitekunas (15) who fights in the Scottish Junior Open Championships at the Ravenscraig regional sports centre on Sunday.
Wilkinson has connected with his teenage club mate over the past two years of training and sparring, and says he wishes he had been as dedicated as Vaitekunas when he was the same age.
“I’ve never seen a young lad who’s 15 to be so dedicated to one thing,” he said.
“I tell him if I had been as dedicated as him at his age, I would be on Team GB or fighting in Europe by now.
“The amount he’s come on in the past six or seven months has been unreal. He’s went from an intermediate level boxer to open standard, and he’s not even had a fight during that time.
“I’m really excited to see where he goes from here. It gives me motivation to see him chasing me, as we train together a lot and it really spurs me on.”
For Hopeman boy Wilkinson, who now lives in Forres, tonight is the culmination of 10 years of hard work under the wing of Elgin Boxing Club head coach Paul “Ratch” Gordon.
Wilkinson said: “I’m raring to go for Friday. I’m excited, and there’s been a lot of sleepless nights waiting for this.
"I’ve been training like its going to be a world championship fight.
"I’m definitely the fittest I’ve ever been. As an amateur you were fighting week in week out and had fights you probably should have won and you haven’t, but this week I’ve wanted to train more than I have but I feel I’m just raring to go.
“People keep asking me if I’m nervous and I tell them, of course I’m not. I’ve been doing this since I was 10, and when I was younger I used to get nervous, but now I can control the nerves.”
He was scheduled to fight another debut boxer, who was knocked out in his first fight, so instead he takes on a four-round bout with Arrowsmith who will be fighting professionally for the 50th time in Glasgow.
Read more: 'Wilko' wants a Moray fight night.
“I’m glad I’ve got this tougher opponent because I need to be learning.
“There’ll be a fair army down there. People from Newcastle and Wick are coming there to watch me.”
Vaitekunas must wait to learn his opponent in the final of the Scottish Junior 75kg Open Championships on Friday.
Tomorrow sees the semi-final bout between Mohammed Kashif (South) and Anderson Kallus (Forge) for the right to fight the Elgin youngster the following day.
Should Wilkinson make a winning debut, his dream would be to headline a boxing night in Moray and he revealed the possibility has already been spoken about.
"They want me to have my own show in Elgin so hopefully by the beginning of next year we can have an Elgin Town Hall show.
"I think we could sell that one out."