Former Olympic bronze medallist Willy Fisher is set to be inducted into Scotland’s Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The Craigneuk-born fighter will join a list of boxing legends already inducted including Jim Watt, Ken Buchanan, Dick McTaggart and fellow Craigneuk ace Chic Calderwood, who was recognised with a posthumous award back in 2006.
Fisher, 72, fought professionally for six years but is most fondly remembered for his achievements at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games where he won a bronze medal.
This week he recalled the memorable Games of the XVII Olympiad – a fortnight which saw a certain Muhammad Ali’s rise to prominence.
Fisher said: “I was surprised the people I met.
“There was a big black guy strutting around the Olympic village shadow boxing.
“The American and British team were next to each other in the village and I would look out the window and see this guy shadow boxing.
“No one knew who he was. It wasn’t long until we found out. It was Muhammed Ali, then called Cassius Clay, who won a gold medal. In my semi-final, I remember he was coming into the ring as I was coming out.
“I also got to shake hands with the Pope during that Olympics. It was a great experience for me.”
The light-middleweight turned senior when he was 17, winning the Western Scottish title that year before going on to become Scottish then British champion when he was 20, which secured his place at the Rome Olympics.
He was one of three Scottish boxers who went to the Games that year, the others being Dick McTaggart and flyweight Danny Lee.
“The three of us got on really well, travelling abroad to places like Ghana, Romania and Czechoslovakia in our amateur days,” he recalled.
“Dick had won gold in Melbourne four years previously and won a bronze along with me in Rome.
“I had four fights to get to the semi-final where I was up against the local Italian guy. I gave as good as I got but he got the decision on points.”
During his professional career he fought in the USA, France as well as the UK, winning his first eight fights.
He final record stood at 21-12 with nine knock-outs.
After retiring he became a successful publican, taking ownership of The Market Bar in Wishaw.
Today he leads the quiet life but enjoys attending the occasional professional local boxing show.
He will be indicted into the Scottish Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday (October 13) at Burnhead Community Centre, Viewpark.