Top Scottish talent John Thain heads to Wildcard Gym
Fast-rising prospect John Thain will head to Freddie Roach’s star packed gym ahead of his appearance on the big Ricky Burns-Kevin Mitchell show next month.
The 24-year-old from Edinburgh, who is heralded as one of the best young talents on the domestic scene and recently featured on Steve Bunce’s Boxing Hour show on BoxNation, will go to Roach’s Wild Card gym in LA with his trainer Terry McCormack this Friday to start a two-week training camp.
Light-middleweight Thain, who’s unbeaten in seven fights, will train and spar in the gym that houses superstar Manny Pacquiao and WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr who’s preparing to face Sergio Martinez next month.
This will be Thain’s second trip to Roach’s gym with his first visit back in 2009 while he was still an amateur and he’s thrilled to return again.
‘I’m excited to be going back to the Wild Card and seeing how I’ve improved in the last three years since I went last. You’re in a gym full of world class fighters and you feel like you’re representing your club and country so you daren’t fail,’ said Thain.
‘The first time I went it was a real test for me as I went in as an amateur with no professional experience and it was a hard, hard, environment, but I survived. I did quite a few rounds with a tough Mexican called Roberto Garcia, who later fought Antonio Margarito, which was a real eye-opener to the pro ranks, or I should say eye-watering, as he hit me low quite a few times, but overall it was fantastic experience in the gym that has certainly helped me in my career so far,’ he added.
He’s seen his hero Pacquiao training on the previous trip and shares a link with the multi-weight world champion in that his mother is also from the Philippines.
Thain continued, ‘Watching Pacquiao spar was a real honour and pleasure. I’m sure seeing him on TV takes away his speed, power and intensity, you have to watch him live because he is unbelievable. Being in the same environment as him certainly rubbed off on me as success breeds success. I’d like to meet him properly this time as my mum’s a big fan of his and she’ll kill me if I don’t get his autograph this time!’.
When Thain returns he will finish preparations for his six-round contest on the big Burns v Mitchell WBO World Lightweight title card on Saturday 22nd September at the SECC in Glasgow.
Just like Burns learnt from fighting on former two-time WBO World Featherweight Champion Scott Harrison’s card, Thain is picking up experience by featuring on Burns’ undercard which he knows will benefit him when he starts challenging for titles.
Thain added, ‘It’s like being at university fighting on Ricky’s card, I’m soaking up all the valuable experience from seeing behind the scenes at big arenas, the dressing room to the crowd and I know that this will all help me on the day I graduate by winning the world title,’
‘It’s going to be a great fight between Burns and Mitchell and if I wasn’t fighting on the undercard I would definitely be there as a fan. I’m just hoping that I’m on before the big fight so that I can take me seat and watch it.’
Burns’ WBO World Lightweight title defence against Kevin Mitchell headlines a top quality card that also features former WBO World Featherweight Champion Scott Harrison, hot unbeaten prospect Bradley Saunders, plus Scottish stars Stephen Simmons, Jonathan Slowey, Michael Roberts, Ryan Collins, Sammy Hill and Hugh Gray.