Rising Byron Boxing Club star Willie Williamson aims to realise his Olympic dream by starring at the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
The 17-year-old is one of the hottest young stars in Scottish boxing and was recently selected for an elite training camp and tournament in Russia.
Selected by Boxing Scotland, the talented teen underwent a week-long training camp in Anapa with the Russian national youth team.
Williamson then impressed in the prestigious Nikolay Pavlykova Memorial tournament in Krasnodar, Russia – comprehensively defeating the Armenian champion.
He suffered a narrow defeat to the three time European champion and four time Russian champion.
It is all vital experience towards achieving his goal of major title glory on the way to starring for team GB at the 2028 Olympics in LA.
He said: “The 2028 Olympic Games in California is the one I am looking to get to – that is my target.
“First of all I want to get on the Boxing Scotland elite squad then push on from that to get onto the GB squad.
“Hopefully I can make the next Commonwealth Games and then the 2028 Olympics.
“Whatever comes in between, such as the British championships and Scottish championships, will all hopefully lead up to that big moment.”
Elite training camp in Russia
Whilst in Russia as part of the Scottish team, Williamson trained and sparred with European and international champions. Each Scottish boxer had a different sparring partner for each session.
The select group of rising Scottish talents on the programme then travelled to Krasnodar to compete in the Nikolay Pavlykova Memorial tournament involving countries from as far afield as Asia, the Americas and Europe.
Byron Boxing-trained John Docherty, now a professional, previously fought in the tournament in Krasnodar. Middleweight Docherty would go on to win a bronze medal at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Boxing at 60kg Williamson beat Armenian champion R. Hamazaryn before narrowly losing out on points to multiple European champion M. Grigoryan of Russia.
He said: “The first fight was against the Armenian champion who I beat convincingly with a unanimous win.
“The second fight was against the three time European champion and four time Russian champion.
“He is probably one of the best in amateur boxing but we had a close fight in his home city of Krasnador.
“He went on to win the tournament.
“It was a great experience with the Scotland team.”
Prestigious tournament victories
Williamson began boxing at the age of eight and has built real momentum in recent years.
Prior to the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, where boxing shut down for more than a year, he won gold a the prestigious Odivelas Box Cup in Portugal.
A multiple Scottish champion Williamson insists Russia was a valuable experience and underlined he is close to reaching the very top echelons of his age group.
He said “What I learnt from my time in Russia is that I’m not too far away from that top level.
“I just need a bit more experience and a bit more work with those types of boxers and it shouldn’t be close fights- I should be beating them.
“I’m on the Next Gen boxing squad and the next step is the Elite Boxing squad for Scotland.
“From that you can get into the GB assessments. That’s what I’m looking to get to.
“I’m doing all the right things.”
Sparring top champions in Russia
Whilst at the Russian training camp Williamson secured vital sparring sessions.
He went head to head with a two time European champion and a world bronze medallist.
It made the gruelling travel involved worth it.
He said: “It was about three days travelling. I went down the night before and stayed in a hotel before getting the flight from Edinburgh.
“We flew to Amsterdam before jetting out to Moscow.
“From Moscow there was a two hour bus ride to the other Moscow airport.
“Then there was another four hour flight to Kransandor.
“The journey didn’t seem that long though as I was so excited to get out there.
“Whilst in Russia I sparred with a two time European champion and a world bronze medallist.
“I also sparred with a two time Russian champion and the 2019 European champion as well.
“I was up against boxers with a lot of experience but I more than held my own.”