YOUNG boxers have been taking hints from on-screen hero Rocky Balboa and decided to train in a meat factory fridge in preparation for their next big fight.
The Scottish Youth international boxers braved the freezing temperatures – that were even colder than those outside – mirroring the iconic scene in the first movie of the Rocky series.
The young boxers are preparing for their upcoming fight on Saturday against Sweden in the Bring Back Boxing Home Internationals Series.
Building on an impressive start against England, the Scottish selection hope that their sub zero preparations ahead of their meeting with the young Vikings from Sweden will prove successful.
Robert Forrest, 17, from West Lothian will be fighting at the weekend in his first international fight. He said: “I’m a bit nervous for this fight. Hopefully I’ll win, I’m sure I’ll win anyway because I’ve been fighting seniors and this is a boy that’s the same age so hopefully it will go perfect.
“I’ve never fought an international fight so this is my first. I’m definitely looking forward to it. All my family will be there to cheer me on.”
And Robert has ensured that he is as prepared as he can be: “It’s just been training, training and more training. Constant training, all every day every week.
“We do sparring with other seniors, skipping, running, just constant every day. It’s really hard work. I get weighed just about every day to see if I’m the right weight.”
Robert was joined by Bryce Stewart, 17, from Grangemouth and Mark McKeown, 16, from Coatbridge for a sparring session in the fridge.
The team narrowly lost to England 9-6 last Saturday and they hope that the extra practice will help them to do better against the Swedes.
Mike Keane, Amateur Boxing Scotland (ABS) performance coordinator, said: “The boys are doing really good, we had a strong side up from England last week. We got beat 9-6 but the main thing was the actual performance from the boxers was excellent.
“It’s all part of the development of youths, juniors and school boys in the boxing scene so we can bring them on, give them more international experience and build up a team for the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Man in September and then eventually for 2014 in Glasgow.
“Most of the boys are Scottish champions at this stage but it’s all development so other people are getting a chance as well.
“The clubs are putting forward their best boxers and we’re running squads.
“What it is giving us is a look at them and how they react in the international scene. They are on the big stage in front of a big crowd and we are getting a look at the boys first hand with how they can cope with that.
“The next stage is certain individuals will be invited back in and there is tournaments targeted for next year, mostly in Europe.”
Speaking about the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Mr Keane added: “We have got a lot longer to prepare for it this time. I’m confident that we are going to do very well in 2014.
Scotland will take on Sweden at 12noon on Saturday 18 December at the Time Capsule in Coatbridge.
Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children and are available at the door only.
The national side will also take on Wales on 15 January and Northern Ireland on 22 January.