Once more Arbroath Boxing Club can boast of a champion!
On Saturday Mark Fairweather was crowned North District Senior Open Class middleweight champion at the District finals in Inverurie.
In his finals bout he faced the strong and imposing Liam Miller, Highland Boxing Academy.
From the first bell Miller bulled forward throwing hard shots from both hands. Trapped in a neutral corner Fairweather was caught with a crisp left-hook that brought a standing count from the referee. Miller kept up his pressure tactics, but Fairweather’s excellent conditioning had seen him recover from the blow and using good defensive footwork he countered well with hard right crosses.
If the first round hard been exciting the second was even more so. Fairweather had got the measure of his opponent and used his greater hand speed to good effect, landing clusters of punches, using Miller’s relentless forward march against him, giving the punches more leverage.
Miller was still dangerous, his left-hook being very effective, catching the high held head of Fairweather on occasion, but the Arbroath boxer took the shots and fired back showing the benefit of his training and fitness.
With the score apparently tied the final round had it all to play for. Both boxers raised their game and the final three minutes were a pulsating climax. Fairweather rose to the challenge, fast three punch combinations rocked the tough Invernessian, who still walked forward, taking punches to head and body.
The verdict of a very close and vibrant bout was a split decision, Mark Fairweather was awarded the win by 2-1. A well deserved victory for all his hard work in the gym.
Barry MacDonald was competing in the Novice class welterweight section and his semi-final bout with Zak Fummey, Perth Railway, was a great battle of skill and controlled aggression.
Fummey was a slick in-and-out boxer, using three punch combinations before slipping out of range. MacDoanald took a few moments to work out his own strategy against a slippery opponent but by stepping that bit closer and rolling under the left leads he landed hurtful hooks from both hands.
Over the course of three exciting, fast and furious rounds that showed the skill and determination of both boxers the pace never wavered. In the end Fummey was awarded the verdict by a 2-1 split decision. Barry MacDonald was disappointed at the result but not his performance a he showed growing ring maturity and no lack of skill.
His opponent went on to win the title with a second round stoppage, something he could not achieve against Macdonald.
Max Butterworth faced Graham Smith, Aberdeen University, in a quarter-final of the middleweight novice class division. This was a clash of styles, Smith was an awkward south-paw while Butterworth has an unique orthodox style, that is most effective.
The opening exchanges were all Butterworth, his power shots unsettling Smith who came back with ineffectual swings that completely missed the target. Unfortunately both boxers tumbled to the canvas midway through the round when they became untidily tangled.
As they rose blood was streaming from Butterworth’s nose. The damage could only have been caused by a clash of heads when they fell as he had not taken a single punch. After the referee had checked with the doctor he was allowed to continue and proceeded to pummel Smith around the ring until the referee stopped the contest in the third round.
Butterworth’s semi-final, later in the evening was against Wellmeadow’s Chris Hogg. This was a real tear-up,with both starting at a furious pace, determined to dominate.
Hogg, another southpaw, began to wilt in the second. Although his nose began to bleed again Butterworth ploughed on, landing with hard shots to head and body. The final round saw another big effort from Butterworth, his determination and power shaking Hogg as he stormed forward and took the unanimous verdict he deserved.
Max Butterworth will box for the Novice middleweight title in the next two weeks, either at the forthcoming Arbroath show in the Community Centre on November 29 or possibly the previous evening on show in Aberdeen. His opponent will be another south-paw, Kevin McCool, Kincorth.