History-making teen boxer Willie Hutchison is already targeting Commonwealth and Olympic glory after being crowned the first ever World Youth Champion from Scotland.
The ambitious Springhill ABC fighter, 18, took on the best that the AIBA World Youth Championship had to offer and pulled off a series of stunning wins to take the gold and become World Middleweight Champion.
The incredible achievement in St Petersburg has seen Willie rocket into the history books, with no other Scottish boxer coming close – and he now boasts Scotland’s greatest amateur record of all time, including going unbeaten in 75 fights.
His amazing victory also meant that Scotland was the only home nation to win a medal in Russia.
Furthermore, it adds to an already impressive roll call of titles for Willie – five times West of Scotland champion, fives Scottish champion, four times British champion, and European champion.
The Carstairs-born teenager undoubtedly had a difficult route to the world title, yet arguably produced the performance of the Championships against Cuban Lenar Perez, the third ranked youth in the world.
He then defeated top fighters from Venezuela, Hungary, Ireland’s three-time European Champion Michael Nevin, before overcoming a hugely talented Kazakh opponent in the final.
However, despite the victory not sinking yet, confident Willie is determined that the major title will be just the first of many, further adding to the trophy cabinet that resides in his gran’s house.
In fact, he already has his sights set firmly on representing Scotland at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 and the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.
Willie said: “That’s the dream. World Super Middleweight Champion and Olympic Champion – I want it all. I’m currently doing my best ever boxing, but there’s always room for improvement and I’ll be even better by 2018 and 2020.
“This time last year, I was telling everyone that I would become Scotland’s first World Youth Champion, and I absolutely believed it. But now that it’s actually happened, it’s hard to get my head around. It’s just mind-blowing.
“I’ve had incredible support, especially from my family, who’ve given me so much. It’s all about family for me, and I include many of my closest boxing circle in that. I was also congratulated by Josh Taylor on Twitter, which meant a lot.
“Now the sky’s the limit. I feel like I can accomplish anything. Once I get in that ring, it’s like I just change – it’s on. Sure, I get butterflies before I get in there, but it’s never nerves – it’s just anticipation, and I feel really calm once the bell rings. An international coach pointed at me recently and said that I have ice in my blood, and I think that’s fair comment.”
Boxing since the tender age of nine under the close tutelage of Springhill ABC’s head coach Frank Delaney, Willie has made sacrifices that other teenagers wouldn’t dream of.
Aside from a strict diet, his gruelling daily regime includes a long morning run, then a trip to the gym, followed by swimming in the afternoon, technical boxing training, and finally another session at the gym at night.
Typical teenage activities like going to the cinema are extremely rare for Willie, while the associated costs have to be carefully weighed against those of his boxing ambitions.
Nevertheless, he credits his father William with making the most sacrifices. Every boxing trip that the teenager undertakes tests the family’s finances to the limit and construction worker William has had to make difficult decisions affecting all five of the Hutchison children in order to realise his son’s dreams.
They’re now desperate to secure a sponsor who can support Willie’s ambitions at such a key point in his boxing development.
Willie, whose boxing idols include Carl Frampton and Tony Bellew, said: “It’s so hard for my family to keep trying to come up with the money all the time. Finding a great sponsor is essential now if my success is to continue. This can’t go on without outside financial support, so please get in touch if you think you might be able to help.”
Governing body Boxing Scotland has keenly watched Willie’s progress over the years, while its coaches have worked hard to shape his raw talent and turn him into the world champion that he has now become.
Interim CEO of Boxing Scotland, Fraser Walker said: “Having worked closely with him for years now, we couldn’t be more proud of Willie’s spectacular achievement in Russia.
“He overcame some incredible fighters to take the gold, and the singular nature of what he’s pulled off really speaks for itself.
“Huge credit must also go to our coaching team and to Willie’s Springhill club coaches.
“We are certain that St Petersburg represents the start of very special things for him, and we are all very excited by what now lies in store. Watch this space.”