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HBA's Lewis Urquhart not done yet after completing set of Scottish amateur boxing titles – 'I want to stick in the amateurs and win as much as possible'


By Andrew Henderson

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Over the last nine years, Lewis Urquhart has become one of the most successful amateur boxers in the history of Highland Boxing Academy.

His Northern District Championship triumph earlier this year completed the set of Scottish amateur titles, having already won the Novice and Intermediate titles at what is now known as the Development Championships – as well as the new title – and the Scottish Open title.

Highland Boxing Academy (HBA)'s Lewis Urquhart (Dingwall) became Northern District champion earlier this year – bringing his individual title tally to six.
Highland Boxing Academy (HBA)'s Lewis Urquhart (Dingwall) became Northern District champion earlier this year – bringing his individual title tally to six.

HBA head coach Liam Foy believes that six amateur titles is the most anyone at the club has ever won, with Urquhart one more success away from the outright record.

As far as the 22-year-old from Dingwall reckons, though, success always felt like an inevitable result of the hard work he has put into training.

"I remember the very first competition I went into, I really wanted to win it," Urquhart recalled.

"I wanted to win a title, and I had worked so hard for it. Every single one I've won since, I've stepped up because I really wanted to win it.

"I've pretty much constantly been training over the last nine years – the only times I've been off was because I was injured. Even during lockdown in Covid, I kept training hard.

"The very first title I won was good, and then the last one too – the Northern District title – because that meant I had all the Scottish ones: the novice, intermediate, open and district. Very few people have got that.

"It was good to finally tick the last one off and complete the set. I've been targetting it for ages.

"I had only ever fought for the districts once before, and that was my third ever fight. I got beat in a split decision.

"Ever since, I've had people pull out or for some reason it just didn't quite happen, so it was nice to finally get the fight and win it to complete the set."

Had things gone just slightly differently, Urquhart may never have pulled on a pair of boxing gloves.

He had no intention of getting involved in the sport, being quite content with playing football and running for Ross County Athletics Club. It was only when his younger brother wanted to go to Highland Boxing Academy that Lewis followed suit, and he immediately felt at home.

Lewis Urquhart in action against Granite City's Dean Castle on his way to winning the Scottish Intermediate Title in 2019.
Lewis Urquhart in action against Granite City's Dean Castle on his way to winning the Scottish Intermediate Title in 2019.

Urquhart showed plenty of potential at junior level to win the titles he did, but it is never a guarantee that such success will be maintained when making the step up to senior level.

Clearly, the former Dingwall Academy pupil is doing something right to keep adding to his legacy – and he still has one major goal in mind.

"There is one main goal I have, and that's to win the Golden Gloves at senior level," he explained.

"That's the main one. I won it at junior level, but I haven't done it at senior level. At first that was obviously a big step up, because once you turn 18 you can be up against guys who are 40.

"Naturally, people who are 25 or 26 will be a lot stronger, so it was a bit of a step up but it hasn't fazed me. I've had a lot of fights now at senior since I turned 18 – a pandemic stalled it a wee bit, but I've done a lot.

"Seeing Lindsay Fulton at the club win the Golden Gloves did make me want to work harder to get there.

"I do work hard already, but once January hits I'm going to be properly full steam ahead towards it.

"It was good to see Lindsay do it too, seeing someone else at the club win it made me want to do the same even more."

Such a pedigree at amateur level would lead many to think that the next step for Urquhart is a move into the professional ranks.

Lewis Urquhart has become one of HBA's most successful amateur boxers over his nine years in the sport.
Lewis Urquhart has become one of HBA's most successful amateur boxers over his nine years in the sport.

However, he is keen to keep learning and developing first before making a decision on whether to take that leap.

"I would say I want to stay an amateur for a few more years," Urquhart said.

"There is the possibility of going professional at some point, but for now I want to stick in the amateurs and win as much as possible.

"To be fair, the main thing is that if it doesn't go well, I wanted something to fall back on, and just this year I've qualified as an electrician.

"The other thing is having to put everything into it. If I was to turn professional and go for that properly, I would need to make a lot more sacrifices with work and be constantly training.

"There are a lot of things I would have to take more seriously. It's not so much that it feels like too much, there's just a lot more to being a professional than an amateur.

"I'm happy doing what I'm doing, and I want to build as much experience as possible because the better I can be as an amateur, the better level I will be at if I ever do turn professional. The more titles and fights and experience I can get, the better it is for me."

For all the progress Urquhart has made over the last decade, he believes there are three people largely responsible – his parents, and head coach Liam Foy.

Lewis Urquhart paid tribute to his coaches at Highland Boxing Academy – in particular club head coach Liam Foy (second left). Picture: David Rothnie
Lewis Urquhart paid tribute to his coaches at Highland Boxing Academy – in particular club head coach Liam Foy (second left). Picture: David Rothnie

"Where I am today is thanks to my mum and dad, and the coaches at Highland Boxing Academy – mainly Liam," Urquhart added.

"My mum and dad gave me lifts to training when I was younger and waited outside until I got my driver's license, and they've been at every competition supporting me.

"Out of the coaches, Liam has put the most work in with me.

"He wants us all to reach our full potential, and he makes a lot of sacrifices to make that happen – he's in for at least three hours, six days out of seven after his work, because he wants the best for everyone.

"I've been at it for nine years, so he has helped me heaps with travel and coaching. He has played a big part in my time in boxing.

"I can't really imagine what my life would be like without boxing. I could have gone down a different path, but the way it has gone was the best way it could have turned out."


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