In the world of amateur boxing one name stands out for Charlie Flynn (18); the legendary Olympic, Commonwealth and European gold medallist Dick McTaggart. “He was Scotland’s greatest ever amateur boxer – 610 wins from 634 fights is just awesome”, says Flynn, who is also a lightweight fighter. “He was an Olympic champion, and really shows what you can do with determination and hard work.”
Charlie certainly isn’t adverse to hard work himself, having bounced back from an injury earlier in the year – which kept him out of the Scottish nationals – to claim gold at the GB Youth Amateur Championships at Ravenscraig in June. The Newarthill boxer faced fellow Scot Martin McCord in the final of the 60kg weight category, where he landed the majority of the telling punches in a 14-7 win. Charlie says: “I had an injury which was playing on my mind a bit before then, but I’ve stepped things up a level this year and it’s all worked out for the best.”
This fantastic performance has seen him named as the Commonwealth Games Scotland Athlete of the Month for June, jointly with gymnast Shannon Archer. He will receive £250 from Commonwealth Games Scotland towards training and competition costs.
Charlie is hoping his excellent performances will put him in contention for a place in the Scotland team for the Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games in September. Flynn has already tasted success on the island this year, having helped the Scottish youth/schoolboy team to victory in the Celtic Tri-Nations Challenge in May. “It was great to go down to the Isle of Man and compete”, he says. “The venue was really good and it will be valuable to have that familiarity at the Games. I’d love to be selected and I really think I can get amongst the medals.”
Scotland’s Commonwealth boxers came home with three medals from the 2010 Games in Delhi (1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze) and Charlie has his heart set on taking the top prize in Glasgow come 2014: “I’d love to fight in Glasgow in 2014. I just need to keep my focus and keep winning these internationals.” A gold in Glasgow would also put him on a par with his hero McTaggart, who took home the prize from the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
The selection period for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games is currently open, with Youth Team Scotland athletes set to be announced on 9 August.