A SCOTTISH champion enjoyed a belated birthday celebration after clinching gold.

Ryan Barbour turned 16 on January 28 but shunned any birthday cake or party ahead of stepping into the ring at the Scottish Intermediate Finals the next day.

His dad, Paul, said: “Boxing promotes a sense of discipline and it gives him a sense of focus and purpose.

“He eats, sleeps and breathes it.

“It was his 16th birthday on the Saturday and he could not celebrate as he had to watch his weight.

“The family were having birthday cake and meals and he was on a fruit pot and some water.

“He is a young laddie with a lot of dedication.

“People don’t see the background of what they are going through to get to that stage.”

The teenager has been boxing as an amateur for a year and trains four or five times a week at Meadowbank Amateur Boxing Club in Edinburgh.

The hours of hard work in the gym paid off at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, near Motherwell, 24 hours after the milestone birthday.

Barbour, who lives in the Stoneybank area of Musselburgh, was fighting in the 2007 56 kilogrammes category in a straight final with Adam Ifran, from the Rob Roy Amateur Boxing Club.

His dad said: “He boxed very, very well.

“The lad he was boxing was good and had a bit of experience from a very experienced club.

“Ryan went in and stuck to the instructions that were asked by his coaches.

“He boxed quite aggressively, kept himself safe and scored a knockdown in the first round.

“He convincingly won the other two rounds to take a split decision.”

Victory opens the door to other competitions and the potential of representing Scotland.

The S4 pupil at Musselburgh Grammar School has dreams of turning professional and following in the footsteps of boxers including unified world champion Josh Taylor, who enjoyed an impressive amateur career, including gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

Barbour’s dad acknowledged there were plenty of hurdles to be overcome before that could become a possibility.

He said: “He has got aspirations to be a professional boxer. He is quite realistic and looks at it one stage at a time.

“There is lots and lots to do and he has just turned 16 but he has got the right mindset.”