NICO CARRILLO spends his downtime differently to other people. The Glaswegian Muay Thai fighter used a rare day off from training recently to travel to the Old Kilpatrick hills to stand under a freezing cold waterfall.

“After a couple of minutes your body goes numb so it’s actually okay after that,” explains the 21 year-old. “The cold water helps a lot with your recovery.”

That wasn’t his last task on a supposed day of rest. Fresh from the waterfall he headed to Drumchapel to take a look around the new gym that he and trainer JP Gallacher will soon officially open to the public. Unsurprisingly given how meticulous he is with the rest of his preparations, Carrillo has set a high bar when it comes to the standards he expects in his new domain.

“I mopped all the mats last night and someone’s come in with their boots on and walked all over them,” he sighs. “So I need to clean them all over again.”

The gym, he hopes, will become a hub for him and the local community. And it will also serve as a place of remembrance.

The name - Deachkalek Muay Thai Boxing and Fitness - is a nod to Jordan Coe, his former training partner and close friend who passed away in Thailand three years ago of suspected heatstroke.

“Jordan used to train with us three times a week even though he lived in Falkirk,” reveals Carrillo. “It was tragic what happened to him. Really unlucky. I’d say a one in a million shot of that happening.

“We’ve stayed close to his mum since then and the family are really touched about what we’re doing. We asked her if we could have her blessing to name the gym after him and she was over the moon that we would do that. She was crying when we told her.”

The hope is that local kids will take the chance to get off the streets and dedicate themselves to a sport that Carrillo has been in thrall to since he was 15 years old.

“We’ll have classes in here and hopefully get local kids in and let them see what it’s all about. Having Thai boxing helped focus my mind at that age.

“I was 15 when I started and before that I was just hanging around the streets. And then I started Thai boxing and it was all I thought about for a while. I was going to the classes and it kept me away from other distractions. I got hooked on it almost immediately.”

There will be few better role models for any aspiring Thai boxers looking to follow a similar path. Carrillo is already a European champion and will fight for a world title shortly in Liverpool. He sees it as a reward for his unstinting devotion to his discipline.

“I’ve been training hard all year just in case,” he adds. “A lot of fighters got lazy but I’ve been training full-time anyway throughout lockdown. My coach just told me to stay ready and now this has come up. I’ve kept my focus up and it’s earned me a world title shot. This is the biggest fight of my career so I need to make the most of it.”

He already has another world title crack lined up in Las Vegas in February after penning a six-fight deal with Lion Fight Promotions that will help showcase his talents to a worldwide audience.

“Having the contract makes a big difference in terms of financial security as it’s pretty good wages,” he adds. “That helps a lot. And it’s good for my growth and popularity as it’s a really good promotion. I’ll get known a lot more over in America.

“And if I could become world champion there that would be a really big deal. The fights are going to be shown on CBS Sports so there will be a lot more exposure for me.”

His long-term goals are straightforward. “I’m going to keep fighting for a while. Until I’m super rich. But I want to leave a legacy too for Scotland. Hopefully I can encourage more young kids to take up the sport if they can see how well I’m doing. It’s been a lot of hard work but I’m getting there slowly but surely.”