Home advantage helps Strathpeffer boxer win in Inverness
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our digital subscription packages!
Ben Bartlett made it a homecoming to remember last weekend as he picked up a decision win over Russian fighter Fustem Fatkhullin.
Based in Dingwall but originally from Strathpeffer, 22-year-old Bartlett headlined his first ever show in the Highlands as a professional, and the home advantage paid dividends as he ended up with his hand raised after the final bell.
There was some late drama in the build-up to the bout, as Highland Boxing Academy athlete Bartlett faced a change of opponent.
He had believed he would be facing Englishman Jamie Quin, but in the week leading up to the Inverness card that changed to 29-year-old Russian Fatkhullin.
That did not phase Bartlett at all, though, as he had the upper hand across all four wins to take his record to 3–0.
“After 22 months out I had some nerves, but the fight went well,” Bartlett explained.
“I ended up fighting a Russian boy, but it was a good fight and a great atmosphere as well.
“In the first round I kind of knew I was a better boxer and I should get the win. He fought hard though, so it was a good fight.
“I outworked him and boxed smarter than him, and the hometown crowd gave me a bit of an advantage as well.
“At the start I was pretty calm and relaxed, but when I walked in the nerves hit me. I always perform well in front of a crowd, so they definitely did help.”
The future appears to be bright for Bartlett, who is signed to Aberdeen-based promotion Northern Sporting Club that have previously trained the likes of Commonwealth champion Kristen Fraser.
So as far as Bartlett is concerned, the next fight cannot come quickly enough.
“There are a few things in the cards just now, so I’ve been told to keep my head down,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll be fighting again soon.”