A PROUD-AS-PUNCH pugilist has shed almost 11 stone in two years as he looks to make his mark in the ring.

Barrhead Amateur Boxing Club member Nathan Tarr tipped the scales at more than 30st when he started his weight loss journey at the beginning of 2019 but now looks fighting fit, thanks to a sensible diet and regular training sessions.

Nathan, 22, has already taken part in his first amateur bout and is refusing to let the Covid pandemic halt his progress.

He now has his sights set on showing a sell-out crowd of friends and family just how far he has come over the past couple of years.

Nathan told the Barrhead News: “I’ve had an interest in boxing since I was old enough to understand it.

“I’ve been a coach for a few years and I train my older brother Darren, who has turned professional.

“It was just seeing all of the other boys doing it at my club that made me want to give it a go. I was beaten on points in my first amateur fight but it was so good to finally lose the weight, be healthy and fit enough to be able to box.

“I think I’ve still got a couple of stone to come off yet. I need to start doing a few more weights but I’ve been running and training as much as I can, so hopefully I’ll be able to put it to good use when everything gets back to normal.

“My friends and family can see the change in me, in my shape and my demeanour, and it would be good to have a fight in front of a big home crowd.”

The support from those at Barrhead Amateur Boxing Club, including Mark Breslin and Brian Walker, has been pivotal, with Brian taking Nathan under his wing and joining him on morning runs at weekends.

Ditching booze, chocolate and crisps has also been key for Nathan, who does maintenance for Renfrewshire-based residential childcare provider Curo Salus and studies electrical engineering at West College Scotland, in Paisley.

Barrhead News: At one stage, Nathan tipped the scales at more than 30stAt one stage, Nathan tipped the scales at more than 30st

He said: “I couldn’t run because of how heavy I was and the effect it would have on my knees and ankles but, since I’ve been able to start running, I’ve seen massive progress in my weight loss, my fitness and just my overall body shape.

“Crisps were my Kryptonite but, at the start of 2019, I just decided no more crisps, chocolate or alcohol.

“When my pals were going on nights out, I was going with them but taking the car and drinking tap water.

“It was really boring but it was what needed to be done because, if you go on nights out, you just end up ruining all of your good work from during the week.”

Nathan, from Houston, hopes his journey will help others follow suit and has this advice for anyone else keen to lose weight: “I know a lot of people might be anxious to go out running in case folk see them but, when I’m having a bad day, running helps everything come together.

“Anyone who is thinking about doing it should just get their running shoes on and get out on the roads.

“If you want to lose weight or listen to some terrible patter, then come along to the boxing club too.

“The guys here are really accommodating.”