Victorious return to the ring for John

John McCallum.
John McCallum.

Borders boxer John McCallum is waiting excitedly to hear who his next opponent will be, after a triumphant return to the ring at the weekend.

John is hoping for an eliminator, or possibly even a crack at the British light-heavyweight title, after defeating Duane Sinclair in a top-of-the-bill bout in Glenrothes.

He put the London fighter down twice on his way to taking each of the four rounds and declared himself delighted to win the sell-out contest, after an 18-month absence from boxing through injury.

John (27) is hoping his manager Steve Goodwin can line him up next in London against stablemate Frank Buglioni, or even UK champion Callum Johnston, and is waiting to see what materialises.

Dublin-born John, who has a degree in finance, divides his time between Galashiels and Melrose. He has stepped up a division to light-heavyweight, having fought previously at super-middleweight.

“I won the fight quite easily,” he said. “It was good – I walked into a packed sell-out crowd. The demand was high, it was a great atmosphere and the support was unreal.”

Opponent Sinclair had more experience, more knockouts and a weight advantage over John, so it was a big test to see how he would acquit himself. “I handled the occasion very well,” he said. “I came out with not a mark on me at all.

“He was an awkward southpaw who did everything to survive. He kept holding on for dear life. It was good to get four rounds in after 18 months out but I was guilty of going looking for the knockout from the first bell, to try and please a sold-out crowd. If I had taken a step back and given myself a bit more space, and stuck to my boxing, I would have stopped him.”

The night turned out to be a big test of patience and concentration as well. One of the previous fighters required hospital treatment and John’s bout could not go ahead until the medical staff had returned to the arena. So, despite having donned his gloves and done his warm-up for a 10pm scheduled fight, John did not box until half past midnight. Afterwards, there was a dash through to Edinburgh to be with daughter Scarlett on her sixth birthday.

John added: “Glenrothes was a chance for me to re-establish myself and a chance to fight on my trainer’s (Stevie McGuire) promotion, a one-off. Victory has put the excitement and life back into me.”