Novices commended at championship

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ARBROATH Boxing Club was represented by three young fighters at the ABS Ltd. Championships at the weekend.

The boxers from the youth squad, Lewis Keith, Reece Johnston and Deon Johnston gave a good account of themselves at the competition at the Ravenscraig Sports Facility in Motherwell.

The competition is for boxers with less than six contests under their belts and is seen as a stepping stone for up and coming talent.

Entry for the 2012 championship was impressive, with a total of 465 competitors, meaning the bouts were spread over the whole weekend and as an additional overspill day on Sunday the last of the finals will be fought.

In the quarter final of the 1998 Schoolboys 54kg contest Lewis Keith faced Kieran Coyle, Four Isles on Saturday.

Keith used his height to good advantage and kept Coyle at bay with fast jabs. However Coyle was able to find a way under the leads and countered with hooks to the head and body.

The second round was evenly balanced with Keith’s jab and move tactics keeping Coyle off his game.

Coyle raised the pace in the final round and his attacking intensity allowed him to edge ahead eventually winning through on a points verdict.

It was a very game and determined performance by Lewis Keith against a wily and difficult opponent.

It was late on the Sunday before brothers Reece and Deon Johnston stepped into their respective rings.

Reece was up first in an absorbing bout against Cameron Garden, Kirkintilloch, in the semi-final of the 1997 junior 66kg class.

From the first bell Johnston had the upper hand, his two fisted attacks forcing Garden onto the ropes where he suffered under a rein of hard body shots.

Garden was able to move out of range and a hard right cross to the head bought him some space as Johnston took his first step back.

The pace and ferocity continued in the second round and Johnston was just able to gain the points and maintain overall control.

In the final round Garden made full use of the right over the top which Johnston seemed so susceptible to and piled on the pressure to take back the verdict.

The quality of Johnston’s work suffered as attempted to battle back, but Garden had done enough in that final round for the decision to fall in his favour 14 points to 13.

Although disappointed in defeat, both Johnston and Garden were given an accolade by the referee for the excellence of their contest.

Like his brother, Deon Johnston took the fight to Lewis Watson, Alloa, in the final of the 1998 Schoolboy 63kg category.

Johnston drove Watson across the ring and into the ropes with a barrage of hard, accurate punches to the head and body.

Watson managed to get out of danger and a stiff left let Johnston know he was no push-over.

The second round went better for Watson with some crisp counters to Johnston’s continually advancing aggression.

In the final round Johnston regained control and his fast and hard shots back Watson on to the ropes again.

The verdict was a clear points win for Johnston who was named 2012 Novice Champion of the 1998 Schoolboy 63kg category.

He and his opponent were also congratulated by the referee for the contest’s excellence and sporting nature.