AYRSHIREMEN fighting in car parks is a story usually found on the front rather than back pages of a newspaper. But not this time.

A week after his friend and team-mate Calvin McCord extended his unbeaten run at the same venue, it is Neil “Wee Cubby” McCubbin’s turn tonight for a spot of al fresco boxing.

Looking to circumnavigate stringent Covid guidelines that for so long made planning indoor events impossible, promoter Dennis Hobson took the imaginative step of creating a boxing venue in the car park of the Sheffield Arena.

Screened by new online boxing channel Fightzone, it will provide the perfect platform for McCubbin to get back in the ring after a 21-month absence

The Drongan boxer not only gets to shake off some rust when he squares up to Matt Windle on the headline event but he does so with a Commonwealth title on the line in his just sixth professional bout.

The light-flyweight belt has been vacant since 1987 and not been held by a British fighter for 119 years.

Given his understandable frustration at not being able to compete for so long, McCubbin’s enthusiasm ahead of this opportunity is spilling over.

“I’m really looking forward to it as it’s been a long time coming,” said the Kynoch Boxing fighter. “I’m ready to put on a show.

“To be out of the ring for nearly two years and come straight back to fight for a title is exactly what I needed.

“It’s without a doubt the biggest fight of my career so far. Going forward, if I win this then it will open up a lot of doors for me.

“I could be potentially just a couple more fights away from competing for a world title which would just be incredible. When you look at it that way, this is a massive moment for me.

“It’s my first time fighting out of Scotland and first time at an outdoor arena like this one. But I’ve been watching some of the earlier shows and it does look like a really good setup.

"At least the fact it’s outside reduces any risks as it’s not like you’re all crammed together in a wee hall like before when it was always really clammy.

“It will be fresh and the weather is to be good so I’m looking forward to it. Hats off the promoters – they’ve had to be a bit more imaginative to get fights on again and they’ve pulled it out the bag.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what it’s all about. Calvin told me all about it from his fight so it sounds like it will be a good experience.” 

A small travelling band of friends and family will be ringside having travelled down from Ayrshire and McCubbin expects he won’t have any difficulties hearing them in the crowd. 

“I’ve got a few folk coming down so there will be one or two mad Scots in among the Sheffield crowd!” he laughed. 

“I know for a fact they’ll be making themselves heard so it will be good to have a bit of backing for my first fight outside of Scotland. 

“A few of them were talking about making a weekend of it so I’d imagine it could be pretty wild. I just hope the bars are well stocked!” 

McCubbin is still juggling the demands of a professional boxer with his full-time job as a spray painter with Volkswagen. 

“They’ve been great with me and I always get the time off when I need it for sparring or competing, “he added. “It’s not too bad that way.

“It’s tough trying to marry the two of working and training but I’m in a routine now and I’m used to it. 

“To be honest, I’m one of these people who’s always up and about. I just like being constantly on the go.

“And it definitely makes it easier having a fight date to aim for. You just get your head down and know that you’re working towards something.”

The light-flyweight division has a 108lb or 7 stone 10 limit and making that weight naturally brings its own challenges.

“It’s definitely been hard to keep the weight down,” admitted McCubbin. “But I know on the night I’ll be fresher and the bigger man in the ring. It’s just one of the sacrifices you have to make at this level but I’m confident it will all be worthwhile.

“If I win I’d like to defend the belt a couple of times and then see what’s next for me after that.”