Waterfront boxing spectacular draws huge crowd

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WHAT has become a hugely popular and well supported yearly event once again played to a packed house on Friday when Doug Ford and Scott Cooper promoted ‘Charity Boxing 2011’ in the Waterfront Nightclub.

Taking 18 volunteers, giving them eight weeks intensive training and coaching in the skills of boxing and then matching them in competition in the ring before a large crowd in an open show is no mean feat.

Kenny Ayre, sponsor J.B. Autos, faced Mathew Chisholm, 212 Highland Battery, in the first bout if the night. From the first bell this was all action as Ayre powered forward. Chisholm covered and responded with some good counters, mainly to the body. Into the second and Ayre once more made a fast aggressive start but Chisholm worked the body again slowing his opponent and wearing him down. After another thumping body shot the referee stopped the contest with Ayre in some discomfort. Mathew Chisholm earned a clear victory.

The first female contest featured Emma Whitton, Clandec, against Tracey McCulloch, Sun Studio. This began at a much more leisurely pace, suddenly bursting into action as first one than the other tried to take control. In round two Whitton just began to edge in front bringing a standing count against McCulloch after a good head shot. McCulloch gritted her teeth and into the third she did her best to unsettle Whitton. Emma Whitton gained a deserved points win over a determined opponent.

James Millar, A&D Platers, was matched against Darren Walker, J.B. Corrie Ltd., in another crowd pleasing clash. Millar used his height and reach advantage to good effect in the opening exchanges. Walker found a way past the jab and landed with some good counters. Rounds two and three followed a similar pattern. In a rousing last round Darren Walker just managed to edge in front and was awarded a close points decision.

The second ladies’ contest saw Cheryl Ramsay, The Car Wash, face Lisa McGagh, Geddeye Ltd., in a spirited encounter. McGagh set her stall out from the bell, straight lefts and right crosses were her tools of choice. Ramsay tried to use hooks and speed to dominate. McGagh just had the power to disturb her opponent and her relentless aggression nearly overwhelmed Ramsay. Into the second and a game Ramsay tried to take the fight to McGagh, but to no avail. Against all the odds the contest went to the final bell. Ramsay had survived against the hard accurate punching of Lisa McGagh who was awarded a unanimous points verdict.

Bout five faced Martin Watson, Idle Hands Tattoo Parlour, against Keith Ramsay, Jarret’s Taxis. South-paw Watson and orthodox Ramsay looked like the ‘real deal’ as they jabbed and moved around the ring looking for openings to land more solid punches. Watson was first to open up but Ramsay was quick to come back at him with crisp counters. In the second Ramsay tried to wrest control of the contest with some good aggressive punching, Watson shook off the attacks and fired back keeping the contest very close. The final round was more of the same, as the contest swung one way then the other. At the bell the judges gave verdict by the slimmest of margins to Martin Watson.

Bout six of the evening was not one of the charity competitions but was a Mixed Martial Arts, (MMA) contest between Jonathan Riach, Best Defence Arbroath, and Andy Burns, Tei/ MMA Karate Institute Glasgow, sponsored by Marti Johnstone. This was a complete contrast to what had gone before, with the entire action taking place on the canvas. Referee for the bout John Cooper stopped the contest after two minutes of the first round when Andy Burns used an effective strangle-hold to bring a submission.

Boxing action resumed when Jamie McKenzie, Millgate Bar, and Ben Cruickshanks, Ravensby Glass, faced each other in an excellent contest. Both got off to a competent start using good boxing skills to effect. In round two Cruickshanks had some success with a stiff right cross; McKenzie covered well and used good defensive tactics to stay out of trouble. In a finely balanced last round McKenzie started fast and forced Cruickshanks onto his back foot. He rose to the challenge and forced forward once more. The final bell brought the verdict from the judges and they could not separate the two so a draw was the result.

Scott Herron, M&L Fresh Air Ltd, was matched against the irrepressible Scoob Cooper, Burns Bar, who made a spectacular entrance to the ring by going all around the hall dressed as his hero Scooby Do. When the action began there was no clowning about as these two got down to business. Herron began well and took control of the contest from the bell leading off with good jabs. Cooper responded but was just coming up short. In the final moments of the round Cooper found his range and began to land good counters. Round two was more even as both boxers tried to take control. Herron’s punches look the better but Cooper’s counters were having an effect. Round three saw two tiring protagonists urging themselves forward to claim victory. The bell came not a second to soon for both and once more the judges were unable to separate them and the contest was declared a draw.

The penultimate bout was the last female contest of the evening which saw Denise Fyffe, Cycle Surgery, Brechin, face Nicola McLeod, Fishermans Bar. This turned into a great contest with both girls showing some good skills. McLeod was non-stop attack as she powered forward. Fyffe stayed cool and calm using fewer but more accurate punches to keep McLeod under control. The furious pace continued into the second, Fyffe’s quality of punch being countered by a go forward perpetual motion McLeod. In this round Fyffe seemed to have gained the upper hand but not to be outdone McLeod raised her game and kept the match very even. The judges by a two to one majority went for Nicola McLeod.

The final contest of the night featured Alan Cargill, Tutties Neuk, against Ross McGregor, West Port Bar, in a rough and ready contest. Cargill started well keeping McGregor occupied with some good if unorthodox punching. McGregor covered, before firing in powerful counters that just missed the mark. McGregor was looking for the big punch and occasionally landed one. Cargill took them well and fired back. Some of the exchanges were a bit untidy and the referee had to work hard to separate them when they came to close range. The third was real blood and guts stuff as two tired sluggers forced themselves to keep going. Although not the prettiest contest of the night it demonstrated the level of commitment all the boxers had given to raise funds for charity. The judges gave a close points verdict to Ross McGregor.

The three round girls, Jenna Cooper, Jenna Swankie and Lauren Buick gave a vibrant and energetic dance routine at the interval which was well received by a fantastic crowd who cheered every bout from start to finish.

Boxing legend and good friend of Doug Ford and Arbroath Boxing Club, Dick McTaggart MBE, sponsored by Jamie Buchan, Specsavers, was guest of honour along with Arbroath FC’s Paul Sheerin and his wife, Juanita, Mike and Linda Caird, Ian Gardiner, Jamie Buchan and Ann McNab.