A Bonnyrigg man who had never boxed before has raised around £45,000 for charity by taking part in boxing bouts across the country.
Bobby “The Hitman” Collins (39) began his career in the sport just 18 months ago.
He said: “I basically started because of my friend Willie Quinn, the former intercontinental world champion.
“His dad was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
“So to raise money we looked about to get celebrities to do a charity bout with Willie. But some of the money they were asking for was just crazy.
“So although I had never boxed before I said ‘why don’t I do it?’ So we fought at City Nightclub in Edinburgh and raised £3/4,000.
“Unfortunately Willie’s dad passed away. I then did a fight with Willie’s brother Thomas, which raised £2,500.”
Bobby revealed that he is very happy to take punches to help charities.
He said: “As I had never boxed it was really hard to do the training. Getting properly punched for the first time by guys who had boxed for years – it’s quite a shock to the system!
“I don’t do it for any publicity. I enjoy the training. I use a wee gym in Penicuik.
“And obviously if it helps out people then brilliant.
“It’s quite rewarding helping out people less fortunate than yourself.”
Bobby’s boxing career shows no immediate signs of slowing down.
He said: “I have lost count now of how many bouts I’ve done. It must be about eight or nine.
“After that first fight with Willie I then got invited down to Sheffield to fight Billy ‘The Hardman’ Brook. We raised about £8/9,000 for a children’s hospital down there. Then it just went on from there.
“I’m definitely going to continue. My plan is to try
and raise 100 grand before I hang up my gloves.
“I have got a fight in February in Wishaw, another kickboxing versus boxing bout. I’ve done a few of them.
“This one is against a guy called Ronnie White, who has a big following, so we hope to make a few quid for the charities.”
Bobby’s charity bouts have helped a host of good causes, including the Les Hoey Dream Maker Foundation, the Jay Johnson Fund, Motor Neurone Scotland, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Bobby sometimes gets into the ring with some famous faces.
He said: “I boxed (former Hearts footballer) Jose Quitongo twice for the Dream Maker Foundation.
“I fought him at Woodburn Miner’s Club and then again in Wishaw.
“He is a really nice guy, but he can’t box. He is probably the easiest fighter I have taken on!”