Most boxers only have to worry about who they will face in their next bout.

Brandon Butler, however, has already taken on his toughest opponent – and that fight happened outside the ring.

The 15-year-old Johnstone High School pupil has been hailed a hero after overcoming a potentially deadly strain of diabetes to become a boxing champion.

Brandon won a gold medal last month in only his fifth competitive fight since taking up the sport in 2019.

It was also his first bout since he almost died from the condition 15 months ago.

Brandon was one of the most promising teenage prospects in the sport before illness temporarily stopped him in his tracks.

As a member of Renfrewshire Boxing Club, based in Johnstone, he showed plenty of promise in his first few fights.

However, his rise to the top was sidetracked when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during the first Covid lockdown.

Brandon’s mum, Laura Quigley, had become concerned at the amount of weight he was losing and his need to go to the bathroom all the time.

The Gazette: In the ring with coaches Sam Wylie (left) and Graeme Hamilton and friend Finlay BrownIn the ring with coaches Sam Wylie (left) and Graeme Hamilton and friend Finlay Brown

After one bad episode of sickness, he was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in Paisley, where a nurse diagnosed his condition.

He was blue lighted by ambulance to the Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow, where he spent three days and was put on a course of insulin to keep him alive.

Since then, Brandon has made a remarkable recovery.

He now has to take insulin four times a day, often at night, if his blood sugar level is too low but that hasn’t stopped him getting back in the ring.

On February 12, he had his first fight since being diagnosed in November 2020.

He was competing in the Scottish Novices Championships at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, in Wishaw, and won gold.

Brandon even had T1D (Type 1 diabetes) emblazoned on his shorts, to show what can be achieved by those who have the condition.

He was cheered on by loved ones, including proud mum Laura.

She told The Gazette: “When we went to the hospital with Brandon 15 months ago, we didn’t realise how seriously ill he was.

The Gazette: Brandon has T1D written on his shorts to help raise awareness of Type 1 diabetesBrandon has T1D written on his shorts to help raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes

“He had been really bad through the night with sickness and had lost about five kilos in the previous few days.

“I hate to think what might have happened had we left it any longer.”

Laura, 38, now has to make sure Brandon is eating correctly and that his blood sugar levels are where they should be.

That often means getting up in the middle of the night to check on her son using a special phone app.

If the blood sugar levels are too high or too low, he makes sure he either has something to eat or gets a shot of insulin.

Laura added: “Brandon can do normal things like any other teenager but it takes a lot out of him, particularly when he’s training for a fight.”

Lightweight prospect Brandon says his ambition is to turn professional, box for his country and compete at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics.

During his winning fight in Wishaw, his coaches had to check his blood sugar levels to make sure they were correct.

Like many other people who have Type 1 diabetes, Brandon also suffers seizures.

The Gazette: Coaches Graeme and Sam offer supportCoaches Graeme and Sam offer support

The determined schoolboy, who turns 16 in October, is aware he could have died had his parents not taken him to the RAH for that check-up.

“There is no doubt that I could have lost my life, one hundred percent,” said Brandon.

“I am just at the starting point in boxing and there is a lot more to do but, hopefully, I can get there in the end, with the help of my coaches.

“I already have four wins out of five, which is very good at this stage in my development.

“The fight in Wishaw was my first since Covid and my first since being diagnosed with diabetes.

“As long as I am checking my blood regularly, I should be alright.”

Brandon, who has two brothers, hopes to leave school next year and pick up a trade such as joinery to enable him to support himself before he turns professional.

He added: “Boxing is my priority. If it wasn’t for my mum, I wouldn’t be where I am, because she is always on top of my diabetes.

“My coaches, Sam Wylie and Graeme Hamilton, have also been great.”

The Gazette: Brandon packs quite a punchBrandon packs quite a punch

Family friend Nichola Brown is among those who have been impressed by Brandon’s fighting spirit.

Her son Finlay is the same age as Brandon and a member of the same boxing club.

Nichola said: “Brandon has been to hell and back and ended up in hospital, so that made his win in Wishaw even more special.

“I feel he is an absolute inspiration to anyone who has this illness.”

Colin Bellshaw, team manager at Renfrewshire Boxing Club, added:

“Brandon broke through into the amateur team and was a real prospect when he became ill with diabetes.

“He has shown a tremendous fighting spirit to get back to a level to compete – and to win a national competition has topped it off. The whole club is proud of him.”

Brandon, who trains twice a week, said his boxing heroes are two fellow Scots – world super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor and former British bantamweight title holder Kash Farooq.

He added: “I’d like to thank everyone who came to see me in Wishaw and watched me on livestream. I could not have done it without them.”