You get the sense that Glasgow’s Regan Glackin (6-0, 2KOs) just understands boxing. His social media accounts, his dedication to remaining in shape, and his search for opponents who are similarly willing to put it all on the line, scream of genuine ambition. And his dream of chasing titles as a young, hungry professional fighter, has just closed the distance, after a tentative few opening rounds.
When he spoke to Boxing Social, the 23-year-old was still working as an HGV mechanic, fixing heavy goods vehicles, squaring off against the surging sunrise and setting himself up for sessions at various gyms, both before, and after, clocking in or out. It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done. And now, after seeing out his former managerial and promotional boxing contract, Glackin has taken an exciting step, handing in his notice at work with the local council, and throwing himself into life as a full-time fighter.
“It’s as reliable as a job can be, but it’s just… not for me. I don’t like that comfortable life. I’ve got boxing,” he explains, as simply as anybody in the same situation requires him to. “I always wake up at 4:00am and people ask me about that sort of thing: ‘Why would you wake up at 4:00am and go out running – then go and train and get punched – when you could get an extra two hours in bed?’ Why go and work at a job that I don’t enjoy? The job and the company have been good to me. But I think it’s just time now. If I’m going to make something of myself in boxing, I need to be able to recover more; I need to be able to get a holiday of some kind. I’m getting to the point where boxing just takes over.”
After years of speaking to talented prospects trying to balance both, I know exactly what he means. We’ve had the Scottish fishmonger working from the crack of dawn and trying to shell British title contention, or the Halifax heavyweight fronting a successful tiling business while upsetting home fighters on the road on a rare day off; it doesn’t allow even the best boxers to fulfil their own promise, with both eventually falling out of love with the sport. And Glackin, known as ‘The Shark,’ is here to make the most of his opportunity.
“If I didn’t think I could make a good career, and make a good future of this, I simply wouldn’t do it. As I said, it’s too hard a career and too hard a sacrifice if you don’t think you’re going to go up to that top level. And I think I just basically treat it as, ‘Okay, I give 100%.’ I think, every day, in the gym, I try and give my all. I just want to give 100%, and eventually see how far it goes. Do I believe it goes far? Yeah. I believe it goes really far. I really think I’ve got what it takes.”
The unbeaten prospect continued: “One thing I don’t lack is motivation; I didn’t need to be asked to do it through the lockdowns and stuff like that. So, I think from a selfish point of view, all the things that I need to have a good, successful career, I think I’ve got them already; I’ve got a very, very good family, mate, and they help me in more ways than one. I’ve got nothing holding me back. So, I’m planning on having a very good career. And the way that I want it to be remembered is just for being in exciting fights, and always, always taking on any-comer.”
Boxing dominates Glackin’s personal and professional life now, as he works as a self-employed personal trainer to supplement his income. But it wasn’t his first love. Looking into the ink that covers his torso, it is evident that football has stained his character, and his skin. An avid Celtic fan, he’s bearing the name of club legend Tommy Burns, alongside the year of their incorporation and their famous song’s abbreviation: YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & The Pacemakers). Coming from a rough, footballing city, he knows better than most how difficult it is to break into that sport’s professional code, after playing for his beloved Celtic as a teen.
“Believe it or not, I was always tiny for my age, and I never really had my first growth spurt until I was about 15, 16. I was tiny! My pre-season in football when I was at Celtic, I just used to go down [to the boxing gym] for extra sessions. And it just turned out that when I got to the age of maybe 13 or 14, I was playing one weekend, and then I was fighting the next day, stuff like that. I started to get to know that I was never good enough to continue with football. I just found I’d get fed up because I would get left out for more developed kids at that age.”
“At that point, I was actually just pondering with my dad one night, and I said, ‘Listen, I’m going to give up, I’m gonna go for the boxing.’ Then, for me, at that time, it was just all I wanted to do,” he closes, without a pause or hint of regret. Boxing may not have plastered the walls of a young Regan Glackin’s bedroom, but it soon took over, becoming something of an obsession.
Now, still working with long-time trainer Joe Ham Snr and his bubbling stable (including reigning Commonwealth featherweight champion, Nathaniel Collins and Ham’s son, Joe Jnr), Glackin is confident he’ll get his hands on a title in the next 12 months. Scottish boxing is experiencing something of a broadcaster boom, with Dennis Hobson and Fightzone taking a particular interest in cards North of the border. As a free agent, Glackin could be set to cash in with offers currently on the table.
“I believe this year’s going to be really big for me and Nathaniel [Collins]. Obviously, he’s doing great things over at Fightzone and with them, he is making a real name for himself. I think the next six months to 12 months is going to be huge. I cannae give away too much now, but I think that the next phase is going to be a very good one if this [next] fight that’s been presented goes ahead. Over the next few months, I think a lot of people will get to know me, I’m very much looking forward to it. As things step up, the next few fights coming up are going to be people that are actually going to come and have a go at me, and that’s perfect for me, perfect for my style. I enjoy a fight, so…”
So, bring it on, he just stops short of saying. Despite holding lofty ambitions, ‘The Shark’ is still a very humble, respectful young professional. He still lives with his parents in the only home he’s ever known; he still spends time with the same group of friends he used to roam the streets with, playing football and climbing trees. Glackin is also an excellent talker, spending almost 45 minutes speaking passionately about life and boxing in the manner that’s gained him traction on Twitter and Instagram – personality is an invaluable asset to fighting men and women.
It’s a long, long road ahead – he knows that. But he’s put himself in the best possible position now, and at the end of this storm, there could well be a sweet golden sky.