A teenage Irvine boxer is set to move onwards and upwards after securing his first major victory on Saturday night, writes Amy Maguire.

Matthew McDonald, 17, fought at the Irvine Vineburgh Boxing Club’s Boxing Evening, alongside other keen competitors, in the Volunteer Rooms.

McDonald has worked tirelessly, dedicating every spare moment to his training to ensure his performance was a success.

He said afterwards: “I feel really good after the fight, I’m just left excited for the next one and I’m happy with my performance.

"The hard work has paid off, but not completely - I still have a long way to go and harder work has to be done to keep fighting.”

The St Matthew’s Academy pupil took part in his first Welterweight contest, exchanging relentless blows in three two-minute rounds to earn the win.

Recalling the moments leading to the judges’ final decision he said: “I was naturally nervous but I felt I’d done enough to win it.”

“The fight exceeded my expectations. I didn’t think it would be as fast-paced and intense as it was but that was a good thing because it got me used to being uncomfortable in the ring and I was able to quickly adjust.”

McDonald is now looking to enter the Scottish Novice Championship in October, as well as continuing with training.

He hopes to fight as often as possible to gain experience.

So, what would he say to any aspiring young boxers out there?

“I would just say to find a boxing club nearest to them and to go, learn as much as they can, try and teach themselves as much as possible and eventually, opportunities will arise if the dedication is there,” McDonald added.

The Irvine teenager will next fight at the Scottish Novice Championship at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre, Motherwell, in October.