Nathaniel Collins strives to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight

At a time when YouTube fly-by-nights and over-the-hill one-off icons can garner global attention and pay-per-view broadcast fortune, Collins points to his unbeaten journey to this point, and wonders what he needs to do get even a glimmer of wider recognition.

The win over James Beech at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel will see the Bearsden contender capture both the British and Commonwealth featherweight belts in just his 12th fight.

The contest was originally scheduled to appear on the undercard of Josh Taylor’s world championship rematch against Jack Catterall at the Hydro, but when that dropped through Collins’ manager Sam Kynoch, he decided to maintain home field advantage by putting on his own show.

Kynoch has courted both BBC Scotland and STV but so far neither has jumped at the opportunity to give Collins the wider platform he deserves. The 26-year-old can still walk around Glasgow without being recognized by anyone outside of the hardcore boxing fanbase and is wondering what he needs to do to make a name for himself.

“It’s a title fight between Britain and the Commonwealth,” he says. “No offense, but it shouldn’t just be a hotel show. I’m very grateful that it’s being presented by Sam and that I’m getting the chance to fight for it up here, but there are two massive awards up for grabs. You look around and there’s not really anyone under the radar contending for a British and Commonwealth title.

“A British title fight was always a big deal [on television] on a Friday or Saturday night and was such a big event. It was pure boxing and when someone got that belt you knew you were going somewhere.

“Everyone in my weight class like Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington has been through this difficult road and won world titles. So it’s no small thing. It’s really just a shame and in another life or for someone in another position it might be different. I just have to take it by the chin and move on.

“Ideally it would have been on Josh Taylor’s undercard if the Catterall rematch happened because that would have been such a big stage. I would have had the chance to show what I can do to people all over the world instead of just here. But it is what it is. Hopefully it’s a stepping stone to bigger things.”

Collins’ previous fight last May was at the Hydro when he received a unanimous decision against highly regarded Welsh contender Jacob Robinson. That hasn’t catapulted the man known as The Nightmare to fame and fortune, and he’s wondering if tonight’s success will finally get him his big break.

“It’s disappointing,” he adds of the lack of awards. “Is it motivation to keep going? I don’t know. I’ve made big fights in the hydro. Jacob Robinson’s final time should be a big excitement, people said.

“And that should be my coming out fight. And now people are saying it’s this one. And if I win, what happens then? It can not go on like this. You can’t keep ignoring me when I have these two belts.

“I’ve been training with Regan Glackin for years. He’s just a little less experienced than I am from the amateurs. He recently won 10-0 and by the time I was at that stage I had won the Celtic and Commonwealth titles.

“It’s just weird how different fighters get where they want to go at different speeds. So it’s not that common for me to do it so quickly. What makes it even worse is that I’m under the radar!”

Collins’ dream would be to one day headline his own show at Scotland’s largest arena, with houses across Glasgow and beyond emptying to see him in action.

“Sam had been talking about keeping this one in the hydro when Josh’s fight was called off and asked how many [fans] I thought I’d take if I was headlining,” he adds. “And it’s funny, I don’t know. It would be good to think that if I get these two belts, people will support me and the city will support me, then that would be a possibility.

“It feels good to be in your town and everyone knows who you are and wants to come visit you. They don’t want to have to advertise myself and sell tickets anymore. It would be great to get to that stage.” Nathaniel Collins strives to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight

Russell Falcon

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