A large and appreciative crowd was entertained to a well matched 12-bout boxing bill in the Community Centre, Marketgate, on Friday evening.
The event weas the annual boxing show organised by Arbroath Amateur Boxing Club.
Three of the bouts were of the ‘no score’ variety because of late call-offs but gave the Arbroath boxers, two of whom were debutantes , their first taste of public competition.
James Bates faced Liam Connaghan, Perth Rail, in the first bout of the evening which was a non scoring skills contest over three rounds. Over the three rounds both these young boxers showed the class that they possess. James Bates is one of a promising bunch of aspiring young boxers in the Arbroath club.
Charlotte Tasker and Roman Tamborski were involved in the two other ‘exhibition’ bouts. Roman’s opponent was injured and Lochee’s experienced Andy Taylor offered his services to let Tamborski have his first contest. The three rounds fairly flew as the pace never lagged and both Roman Tamborski and Andy Taylor were applauded for their efforts.
Charlotte Tasker faced Katy Aitken, Meadowbank, in another lively exhibition bout. Aitken is a class act and never lost her cool under some sustained pressure. She showed respect to Tasker’s efforts and another excellent sporting and skilful bout got a great reception. Unfortunately forArbroath, Charlotte goes off to the Army in the New Year.
Hayden Hill faced Mark McHale, Meadowbank in the first scoring bout of the night. Hill took the initiative, landing good straight shots from both hands. McHale came back with swinging left hooks that fell short of the retreating Hill. Keeping up the pressure in the second round Hill once again proved dominant. The final round saw a drop in pace which allowed McHale to regroup as he tried to make up the leeway. Hill dug deep and they stood and traded three and four-punch combinations. The result was a unanimous points win for Hayden Hill.
Welterweight Ben Gibson was matched against Johnny Kermath,Wellmeadow, in an explosive encounter. From the start Gibson flew across the ring catching Kermath by surprise. Gibson was in total control as he chased and harried his luckless opponent. In the second Kermath forced forward and landed a clubbing right to the head. Gibson shrugged it off and continued the relentless hunting down of his prey. Kermath was given a standing count in the second and again in the third as the unstoppable force that was Ben Gibson powered forward at every opportunity . There could only be one result and Ben Gibson won handsomely.
Scott Denovan made a return to competitive boxing against Allan Reid, Alloa. Unfortunately his return was short lived. After an encouraging start Denovan was trapped in his corner on the ropes and took a crisp left-hook, right cross that dropped him to the floor. Taking the eight count he carried on, but his conditioning had deserted him. Just as the bell to end the round was about to ring the referee jumped between the two boxers and stopped the contest. Denovan was devastated by the result which gave Allan Reid victory.
Lewis Keith featured in a rematch with former defeated opponent Robert Doig, Bronx. Doig was keen to redress the defeat he suffered against Keith in their previous bout. However, from the start Keith took control of the contest and maintained the upper hand throughout the bout. Lewis Keith was in sparkling form and he raced ahead in the points winning by an unanimous verdict.
Carnoustie lad Barry MacDonald had some partisan support roaring him on in his bout with Zak Fummie, Perth Rail. These two met two weeks ago when Fummie won by a narrow margin and McDonald was out for revenge. However, the bout swung first one way then the other. The verdict of an exciting and pulsating contest was a split decision with Zak Fummie winning by the very narrowest of margins.
Terry Ballantine’s bout with Connor Stewart, Meadowbank, was another crowd pleaser. Three thumping punches from Ballantine opened proceedings, forcing Stewart back to the ropes where he had to absorb some crunching hooks to head and body. Stewart found space to open up himself throwing punches in clusters that Ballantine parried on his elbows and gloves.In the final round Ballantine, after a firm talking too by his corner, came out in spectacular style with all guns blazing, landing to head and body with hurtful hooks and crosses that drove Stewart around the ring as he defended bravely. The result was a unanimous points win for a dominant Terry Ballantine.
Reigning North District middleweight champion Mark Fairweather had a return contest with John Whyte, Alloa, whom he had defeated a few weeks ago. Whyte is a tough, experienced customer but Fairweather never allowed him to settle. Setting out his stall with a left-right-left-hook unanswered opening Fairweather took the play away from his opponent. Whyte came out fast in the final session closing down the space landing a good right to the head. Fairweather reacted instinctively, a straight left opened the space again followed by a hard right cross. Whyte harried and chased but Fairweather’s footwork and speed of movement allied to some crisp counter punching kept him out of trouble while racking up even more points.
An emphatic win for Mark Fairweather over a good opponent shows the growing confidence and skill of a young talented athlete. Darren Foster faced fellow welterweight Sean Spence, Meadowank, in the final bout of the night. Foster battled to the bell and gained the verdict.At the moment Arbroath Boxing Club has an embarrassment of riches in the young talent on show and also in the pipeline, which is a credit to the hard work of the trainers and coaches.
The matchmaker for the show, Jamie Norman, is to be congratulated for putting on a 12-bout bill of good competitive boxing.
There was one other contest in the show between Lochee’s rising schoolboy star, Sean Hickey who beat on points Mark McHale, Meadowbank.