WILLIE LIMOND is hoping that the appliance of sports science can finally help him win the British title he has craved for all of his 15-year professional boxing career.

The 35-year-old will put his Commonwealth light-welterweight title on the line when he meets British champion Curtis Woodhouse at the Braehead Arena on June 27, with the latter doing the same with his Lonsdale belt in the chief supporting bout to Ricky Burns' ring comeback.

But as Limond looks to prove that age is just a number he has become increasingly grateful to Glasgow University Human Biology and Sports Science guru Dr Niall McFarlane for helping him remain in top condition as he bids to make it third-time lucky and finally become British boss.

Limond said: "I owe Dr McFarlane an awful lot of thanks for the work he does with me at Glasgow University.

"I first became involved with Niall about 10 years ago after Scott Harrison hooked up with him. I would say that the work the doctor does with me is what has kept me boxing at the highest domestic level into my mid-30s.

"When you reach this stage in your boxing career the devil is in the detail and that is why what Niall does with me is so important.

"It is not just about making sure that my body fat percentage is down about seven per cent but is also about ensuring my body is able to do the correct work at the correct time.

"From that point of view we regularly do what is known as the V02 Max Test, in which you are masked up and put on a treadmill and Niall will measure the volume of air expired along with the percentages of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the expired air in one minute of graded exercise.

"From this Niall can tell my potential for endurance. On top of that he can assess aerobic and lactate thresholds which are the best predictors of my current endurance performance.

"At 35 it is vital you listen to your body and do not over-train when you have nothing in the tank and the Max Test is crucial to avoiding that."

Limond added: "But the great thing about Niall is that he is continuously available for me and this is an ongoing set of measures during my build-up to a big fight - and they don't get any bigger than this one with Curtis Woodhouse.

"So it is important to me that I can record my thanks to Niall for all his time and help. Without it I doubt if I would still be in the shape I am."

But the good doctor's expertise is not just confined to fitness assessment, fat measurement and lactic appraisal.

Limond explained: "I am quite superstitious in my build-up and I stick to what works. Every fighter dreads picking up a bug and Niall is excellent at tipping me off about what is rife during my countdown to fight night.

"On his advice I started wearing gloves on the weeks leading to a big fight and I have, touch wood, avoided coming down with any lurgies for a while now when it would really have disrupted my preparation.

"In fact, Niall even has me carrying an anti-bacterial gel with me to avoid picking up anything nasty through a handshake and I do that now even when I am not in training.

"So over the years the work I have done with Niall has really altered my outlook on things and if I manage to beat Woodhouse and finally win the British title at the third time of asking I will owe a lot of that success to Dr McFarlane."

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