A world title or two would be nice one day but Nathaniel Collins looks at the trappings of Josh Taylor’s boxing success and has his sights set on accumulating something else. The Commonwealth flyweight champion is on a similar trajectory to Taylor after 11 fights and will look to add the British belt to his haul when he takes on James Beech Jr in Glasgow on March 10.
Taylor made it all the way to the top of the sport when he became the undisputed super-lightweight world champion by defeating Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas in May 2021 and has the luxury items to show for it. Pictures on his Instagram of a new games room in his house – complete with pool table, darts board and a bar – caught Collins’ eye and he now fancies something like that for himself, especially with gaming currently off limits at home.
“Josh has got his big house and his car paid for so that’s what you have to look at,” said the Bearsden fighter. “I saw recently he’d built a games room in his house so that’s what I’m aiming for too. I love gaming but my missus hates it so I’m not allowed my PlayStation in the house.
“It’s at the gym but I’ve told her when I make it we’re getting a games room out the back. I’ll just sit out in the garden. But I’m on that same route as Josh. People are forgetting this is only my 12th fight. It’s James Beech’s 19th.
“I was one of the quickest people to win the Commonwealth title. I’ve never messed about in my career. I always wanted to move forward as quickly as possible. It’s just continuing that way.”
Collins will top the bill at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel riding a wave of expectation. An impressive outing last time out against Jacob Robinson at the Hydro underlined his potential but he is wary of getting too far ahead of himself too soon.
“It’s a massive fight,” he added. “It’s funny as I’ve always said that I’m not that bothered about the British title. I’ve always just wanted to take the quickest route to a world title. But it’s just so happened with the cards that have been dealt that I’m now in line for the British. So I’m going to go and take it and hopefully it’s a step to bigger things.
“But I can’t look too far ahead at this stage. People have been messaging me saying, ‘this is quite an easy fight for you’ or ‘you should deal with this guy no problem’ but if you actually look at Beech’s record he’s only lost to top-tier fighters, he’s done a 12-rounder and 10 rounds three times. “He’s got a lot of experience. He’s fought for the British and Commonwealth before at super-bantamweight so it’s not like he’s not been in this situation before. He’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“I’ve got a lot more to lose than him but I’m feeling good. I’ve been training hard and sparring a lot, doing my weights and running. Everything’s pretty much on track. I feel like I normally do at this point before a fight and I’m looking forward to it.”
Becoming a dad to Isabella late last year has changed Collins’ perspective but also increased the burden on him to make sure all his training, sparring and hard work eventually has a pay-off.
“It’s a weird one as becoming a dad actually puts a bit more pressure on the boxing career,” the 26-year-old said.
“My missus is now dealing with the baby all the time. I need to train so I’m going out early and coming back late and she’s saying I’m not seeing the kid too much. This is to try to secure our future but unless you’re in and about boxing you don’t know that.
“You don’t appreciate how big it is really. Her family are questioning what’s happening and she’s questioning what’s happening. I’ve not fought in 10 months, we’ve got no money and we had a terrible Christmas and she’s asking if all of this is worth it and should I go and get a normal job.
“So the baby coming along has added more pressure. But it also makes it more worthwhile to keep going.
“That’s what I say all the time. I could be a couple of fights away from paying off the house and putting the kid in private school, things like that.
“That’s my goal and motivation right now. Before I just wanted to make it. Now there’s a reason to make it.”