Mark Dunlop. *Photo by Leah Furbert
Mark Dunlop. *Photo by Leah Furbert

Mark Dunlop’s first Teachers Fight Night was an experience he’ll never forget.

Entering the gym, he received some of the loudest boos of the night.

On Saturday night, the Scottish accountant will get an entirely different reception as he should get a loud rousing cheer as he takes on Canadian newcomer Jeremy Hawkrigg in a super heavyweight bout, which is the main event for Festive Fists.

It will be a triumphant return to the ring for the Butterfield Group employee.

“Last year when they moved from (Number One) Shed up to Berkeley, because of the cost, I knew they couldn’t afford to bring anyone in that I knew I wasn’t going to get an opponent.

“I thought my days were numbered and I wouldn’t do it again after that.”

Dunlop said he’s glad to be back in training, but is a bit uncertain as to what he might face in the Berkeley gym.

“It’s hard to train for the unknown. I just have to make sure my cardio is up so I can go from the first bell to the last bell and pick up enough points to win.

“I’m training as much as I can for it. I’ve Googled their names, but the more I find out, the less I really know.”

He added there is no pressure being the title bout on the card, but there is a drawback in that the audience could be well drunk by the time he steps through the ropes.

“For the guys who are watching, they pay for their ticket and all their alcohol is included so they’ll be less focused on the ring by the time I fight. I’ve fought at the end of the card, but never last.

“The guys I’m training with (at Controversy Gym) and those fights don’t go the way I’m hoping, then that will definitely add pressure on me to get a result for our guys.

“I’d love to go on first and watch the rest of the guys, but it never seems to happen that way.”

Dunlap started his boxing career at a Fight Night and admitted he was hooked immediately.

“I’ve got the bug. The first time I did it I was told I had to do it. I got in there and I was up against one of the rugby guys. He had all his supporters and I had all my supporters. I walked by my guys and they were all cheering. I walked by his guys from the rugby team and they were all booing.

“I won that fight and all the buzz and the high from people cheering for me made me want to do it again. It made me realize the more I put in, the more I get out of it.