ANDREW Mackay certainly doesn’t need to study his next opponent – as 10 explosive rounds told him all he needs to know about Aberdeen-based Pole Marek Laskowski.
The two Scottish lightweights will clash in Glasgow’s Radisson Blu Hotel next Thursday to land the national belt at that weight in a rematch after their June showdown finished in a 95-95 tie.
Both fighters would have felt they’d done enough to win it, with Laskowski (28) suffering a cut eye in the second round before continuing against confident Mackay (25) from Inverness, who has lost just one of his six pro fights.
The Inverness boxer has the knowledge from his coaches and he says it’s all about "trusting his team" when it comes to how to approach the fight in which he aims to be the first from the Highland capital to win a Scottish professional title.
However, there’s no need for the DVDs to come out to go over footage in detail because the homework was done in their first meeting at the same venue in the summer.
He said: "I know his punches and the way in which he was holding on and I know how to deal with it.
"I know what it’s like to face him from a fighter’s perspective.
"It was an entertaining fight and the fans will have enjoyed it. He started quickly then I came back at him. He’s a tough guy with a good engine and I know he can go the distance, but I have done the 10 rounds too.
"My boxing and the way I think has improved and I am ready for this."
He added: "I think now that when you are training it’s 90 per cent physical and 10 per cent mental, but on fight night it’s 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent physical. I know what’s required. I’m big for a lightweight and I’m ready in terms of fitness, so the fight can’t come round quickly enough."
The 25-year-old hopes that sparring with southpaws, left-handed boxers such as Laskowski, has been the ideal way to sharpen his game up further ahead of their second showdown.
He said: "I have been training hard and I’m feeling really fit. I feel as if I’m peaking at the right time. Working with Colin Bellshaw in his gym in Johnstone has been great. The more I work with him the better I feel.
"The level of sparring with southpaws has been brilliant ahead of the fight. I’ve been doing that with Ryan Brawley, who was lined up for a fight against Willie Limond this month (until Brawley’s rib injury ruled him out) and also Callum MacAuley, who has won the British amateur title."
Mackay, who is dubbed "The North Star", rubbished claims by Laskowski that the Radisson Blu is like a home venue for him, having fought six of his eight pro contests there.
He explained: "I would have fought him in Aberdeen and I even put that to my management in terms of a quick turnaround, but Glasgow was agreed to be the venue. I have never had one fight yet in Inverness, so I’d love to win the title and defend it back in Inverness. That would be an ideal thank you to the core support who give me tremendous backing in every fight."
The railway engineer now has a week off work before this mouth-watering rematch. He said: "It’s all about staying fresh and sharp and keeping on top of my weight management, along with getting plenty of rest."
* The fight night happens two days before Rangers host Celtic in the Scottish Premiership and to whet the appetite respective Gers and Hoops legends Alex Rae and Murdo MacLeod will be guest speakers at the event, which is hosted by the St Andrews Sporting Club. For tickets, contact Mackay via his Andrew Mackay-North Star boxer Facebook page.