Byron Boxing Club star Sonny Kerr is targeting gold medal glory at the prestigious Zagreb Box Cup in Croatia this month.
The 16-year-old will compete at 57kg featherweight in the Croatian capital from Thursday October 21 to Sunday October 24.
It is the latest overseas trip for the jet-setting British champion and multiple Scottish title holder following a recent training camp in Russia.
Sonny was part of a Boxing Scotland elite two week training camp with the Russian national youth team in Anapa last month.
Following the Zagreb Box Cup the highly rated boxer will then fight in France.
The Zagreb Box Cup attracts the world’s top boxing talent and Sonny aims to top the podium.
He said: “The Zagreb Box Cup is a great tournament with a lot of international boxers so I am really looking forward to that.
“I’m anticipating a few fights, and a gold medal, in Zagreb.
“Five days after Zagreb I will push on to France where we are boxing against the French national team.
“I have a few fights lined up so I am busy which is great.”
Eat, sleep, train, repeat… training in Russia
The hottest young boxing talents in Scotland travelled to Russia for the training camp last month.
Following the camp in Anapa the squad then travelled to Krasnodar to compete in the prestigious Nikolay Pavlykova Memorial tournament with countries from as far afield as Asia, the Americas and Europe.
Sonny was too young to compete in the tournament in Krasnodar but his selection for the camp underlines how highly regarded he is by Scotland coaches.
It was an invaluable experience for the teenager.
He said: “It is a completely different way of living in Russia.
“The lifestyle over there is very basic as it is is eat, sleep, train, repeat – it is very regimented and strict.
“It is the perfect place for boxing and you can understand why Russia is one of the top countries in the sport with the way they operate.
“I got very valuable sparring rounds and it was a great camp.
“I learnt a lot of inside tricks because they are real pugilists.
“I was the only junior selected and was too young to box in the tournament.
“The time in Russia was invaluable experience.”
Third generation of boxing champions
A British and Scottish champion Sonny is following a proud family tradition as he is the third generation to secure boxing medal glory.
Father Kevin was a two-time Scottish junior champion.
Grandfather Tony, Kevin’s father, was amateur Scottish light-flyweight champion and a two-time Scottish bantamweight champion.
Tony also boxed at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
Both Kevin and Tony are coaches at Byron Boxing Club.
Sonny said: “It is a big year as my first as a youth is coming up in January.
“I want to go for the British title as a youth 100 per cent which will be in May next year.”
Dedication to training during lockdown
Just weeks before the coronavirus lockdown last March Sonny secured the Scottish title (2005 48kg) to complete an impressive clean sweep in recent tournaments.
He had already won the British title and also triumphed at the Monkstown Box Cup, Hull Box Cup and the Odivelas Box Cup in Portugal.
That momentum was stopped when boxing, like all sports, was shut down due to the pandemic.
Sonny remained fit and focused during the lockdown when gyms were closed.
When boxing returned from cold storage following the easing of lockdown restrictions Sonny was ready to begin bidding for titles again.
He said: “During lockdown I remained dedicated and switched on.
“I kept training and running on the roads.
“It is difficult but you just have to remember why you started boxing and cannot give up.”