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April 14, 2005

Alex Arthur To Face Boris Sinitsin In Edinburgh

Edinburgh's British and Commonwealth Super Featherweight Champion Alex Arthur is taking the traditional way to the top by fighting Boris Sinitsin for the European title this summer.

The fight was due to go to purse bids on Tuesday, but Sports Network reached an agreement beforehand with the Sinitsin camp for the fight to take place in Edinburgh this summer. A date and venue are still to be confirmed.

Arthur has lost just once in 21 fights, while the 33 year old Russian veteran has won 46 of 54 contests to date, including his most recent win - against Craig Docherty at the Kelvin Hall last October.

Posted by scottish-boxing at 05:53 PM

April 09, 2005

Alex Arthur Wins Battle Of The Super Featherweights

Edinburgh's Alex Arthur is the new British and Commonwealth Super Featherweight Champion after his nine round stoppage win against Craig Docherty at Meadowbank last night.

Despite talk of poor ticket sales, Docherty made his way to the ring first in a cauldron-like atmosphere generated by a packed and partisan crowd who raised the roof for Alex Arthur's entrance soon aftwerwards.

But despite Docherty's reputation as a slow starter and the hostile atmosphere, it was the Glasgow man who made the stronger start, settling quickly and with determination written all over his face.

Arthur for his part looked sluggish and going into the fourth was a round or two behind Hot Property Docherty. But any thoughts of an upset disappeared when Arthur started to find his stride and began to piece together some quality punches. An uppercut tore into Docherty, breaking his nose, and the all too familiar sight of the bloody face of Craig Docherty signalled a big turning point in the fight.

For the next five rounds Docherty would have serious trouble breathing and he wouldn't trouble Alex Arthur again. The Edinburgh boxer was now in complete control, outgunning Docherty with flurries of punches and the best defensive work we've seen from him to date.

In the seventh he began to really pile on the pressure and it took all the courage a flagging Docherty could muster to come out for the eighth. After the raised tempo of the previous round, Arthur eased off the gas in round eight, but it was just a lull before the storm of round nine that would see Docherty stopped by another Arthur combination, with a right handed rib bender sending the Glasgow man to the canvas.

Nobody can doubt Craig Docherty's heart, but equally nobody can doubt that Alex Arthur has finally laid the ghost of Michael Gomez to rest after this performance.

The easily riled Gomez was ringside for this one as promised, looking every inch a man who wanted to be next into the ring at the boxing booths of old.

But with such a convincing win over Craig Docherty, Alex Arthur must surely be rated the number one Super Featherweight in Europe. And rather than go down the road of fighting for minor world titles or go over old ground with Gomez, he should be given the chance to prove this by taking the title from the current Champion, Boris Sinitsin.

Arthur would beat Sinitisin on last night's form and then the world stage and the chance to fight for a genuine world title would beckon. Such are the potential rewards for victory at Meadowbank last night.

As for Craig Docherty, the future looks much less certain. Arthur would need to relinquish the British title if crowned European champion, but whether Craig will be content to spend the rest of his career campaigning at domestic level remains to be seen.

There were also wins for Barrie Lee, Ricky Burns, Gary Young and Scott Flynn - full undercard report to follow.

Posted by scottish-boxing at 11:04 AM

April 08, 2005

Our Money's On Hot Property Docherty Tonight

Barrie Lee's return match against Vinnie Valdassara is perhaps the most intriguing contest on the Arthur v Docherty undercard as far as Scottish fight fans are concerned.

Whereas both Ricky Burns and Gary Young face opposition that they should comfortably overcome, the Scottish Middleweight champion is back in the ring with the one man who has stood in his way to date. Indeed if it wasn't for the draw against Vinny Valdassara at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow last October, Lee would have a perfect nine out of nine record.

Since their first contest, the Clydebank boxer has chalked up two wins and will be looking to cause an upset against Lee and over four rounds there won't be much in it. It should go the distance and Barrie Lee should edge it.

Ricky Burns beat British Lightweight champion Graham Earl to upset the boxing apple cart last time out in a fight that was televised by Sky.

Tonight at Meadowbank, the Coatbridge Super Featherweight faces Ugandan born Buster Dennis in what is very much a case of marking time for Burns after the high of victory at Wembley. Ricky has shown that he can mix it with the best domestically so it's disappointing to see him in against a journeyman.

Although durable, Dennis has won just five of 15 contests and has been beaten by the likes of Jamie Arthur, Kevin O'Hara and unbeaten Scottish bantamweight Michael Crossan.

Victory over Earl will have given Burns a massive confidence boost and if he turns on the style at Meadowbank like he did at Wembley he'll cruise to a very easy points win against Dennis.

Similarly, although billed as a step up in class for Gary Young, his contest against ageing Victor Baranov should hold no surprises. Light Welterweight Ted Bami stopped the Russian in two last April and you have to favour Young to avoid going the distance once again with a stoppage win. Round four of five says I.

Scott Flynn's fight against Mark Moran has been cancelled after Moran pulled out. This looked a very tough one for Flynn who has won two from three while the unbeaten southpaw from Liverpool has won five and drawn one to date. Another time perhaps.

And of course there's the small matter of Craig Docherty versus Alex Arthur to decide who is the best Super Featherweight not just in Scotland, but in Britain and the Commonwealth too.

It seems that Arthur's punching power has made him the favourite, but the Doc can dig as well - just ask Dean Pithie who he stopped in eight rounds to claim the Commonwealth title in the first place. Docherty is also much the wiser for paying the price for going head to head with Michael Gomez and I can't see him making the same mistake with Arthur.

It's going to be a close run thing, a genuine 50-50 match-up that boxing needs if it it is thrive as a sport today. I could sit on the fence and say may the best man win, but I've a sneaky suspicion that Hot Property Docherty will surprise a lot of people tonight and beat Alex Arthur.

Tickets for Arthur v Docherty priced at £75, £50 and £30 are available from the Meadowbank Sports Centre (0131 661 5351) and Morrison's Gym (0141 554 7777).

Posted by scottish-boxing at 09:00 AM

April 07, 2005

Andy Grant Loses Battle For Life At Hairmyres Hospital

Scottish boxing has today lost another of its greatest advocates and contributors in Andy Grant.

Andy lost his battle for life this morning at the age of 74 at Hairmyres Hospital in his hometown of East Kilbride after suffering from illness for the last few weeks.

Andy lived and breathed boxing. He was a certificated referee, national certificated judge and an advanced national certificated coach. Boxing was in his blood like you wouldn't believe.

His father was National Trainer for 39 years and Andy himself has been coaching since he was 13 years old.

As well as representing Scotland in the ring himself, he has coached at every level of the sport in Scotland and was even an honorary coach to the Irish ABA.

He founded Holyrood Boxing Club which produced the likes of Joe Land, Walter Douglas, Tammy Douglas, Kenny Grant, Steve Boyle, Donny Hood, Joe Kelly and Peter Bradley. And he also coached John 'Cowboy' McCormack, one of Scotland's greatest fighters, at the Garioch Youth Club.

He was also heavily involved with the Association Of Boys & Girls Clubs in Scotland, and as his close friend and boxing compatriot, Andy Rundell said when breaking the sad news of Andy's death, he saw youth as the future of boxing.

"I was always amazed at his spirit and sense of humour," Andy Rundell said of visiting Andy Grant in hospital. "I was with him last night where he joked about the money I owed him and that he wouldn't accept a cheque! He then asked me to pass his regards onto all in Amateur Boxing Scotland."

Andy Grant was also the boxing coach at Glasgow University, a position he held for 48 years. And it was some 20 years ago that the same man got me back involved with boxing and took me down to Bath where I won gold at the British and Irish University Championships. A tiny detail in Andy's illustrious career, but something that meant the world to me at the time.

So I have much to thank him for - as have many others who crossed his path. Scottish boxing and indeed Scotland will be a much poorer place without him.

Posted by scottish-boxing at 07:18 PM

April 06, 2005

Lacklustre Tickets Sales For Arthur v Docherty Causes Concern For Maloney

Frank Maloney's moaning again about the Scottish public failing to turn out to support their boxers.

We've heard it all before when the Braehead Arena was only half full for the Scott Harrison v Samuel Kebede fight and then a slightly bigger, but disappointing crowd turned out to see Scott fight Victor Polo.

Frank seemed to forget that the Scottish public turned out in force when Scott fought the likes of McCullough, Chacon and Medina. Craig Docherty's European title shot against Boris Sinitsin was a sellout too. And if the Brodie fight was held in Glasgow you could expect a bumper crowd for that one too.

But nobody had heard of Kebede. That's why your average punter was reluctant to fork out good money for it. And the fact that it lasted only a minute was always going to affect ticket sales for Harrison's next fight, especially when Victor Polo was widely but wrongly seen as being past his sell by date.

But when you hear that only 1,500 tickets have been sold so far for the Alex Arthur v Craig Docherty fight, then Frank Maloney has every right to moan.

Because it's a fight that should need no hype to sell it to the Scottish public.

Had the fight taken place at the Kelvin Hall as originally planned, there's no doubt that it would have sold out. But in all honesty, you'd have expected the same to be the case at Meadowbank. Hence the frustration of Frank Maloney and Sports Network who paid handsomely to see the venue switch from west to east.

One factor could well be that people won't travel so much for boxing as they do for football. And with it being on Sky, it's so much easier to and watch it on TV rather than try to get home from Meadowbank late at night, particularly if you're from Glasgow or further afield. Especially when it's Cup Semi-Final weekend with Hibs, Hearts and Celtic all involved in big games at Hampden.

Docherty will certainly have supporters through in Edinburgh, but probably no more than Arthur brought through to Glasgow for his fight against Willie Limond.

On the night, Meadowbank will be a lot closer to capacity than the half full venue ticket sales to date would suggest. Alex Arthur's and Gary Young's pulling power in the capital will see to that. But it will be a crying shame for both boxers, and Scottish boxing in general, if it isn't the sell-out crowd a fight like this deserves.

One man who says he'll definitely be at Meadowbank is Michael Gomez. Despite stepping up to Lightweight after his defeat at the hands of Argentinian Javier Osvaldo Álvarez, the Mancunian who has already beaten both Arthur and Docherty says he'll step back down to fight the winner.

"I think it'll be a cracking fight between the two best Super Featherweights in Scotland," Gomez said, "but Docherty will lose because he's up against a man who hits too hard for him to survive. Craig marks up too easily, which was evident when he lost his European title shot against Boris Sinitsin. The Russian was too heavy handed for Docherty and Arthur will do a similar job."

Gomez incidentally also fancies his chances against young Ricky Burns at Lightweight even although the Coatbridge boxer says he'll be staying at Super Featherweight for the time being.

Tickets for Arthur v Docherty priced at £75, £50 and £30 are available from the Meadowbank Sports Centre (0131 661 5351) and Morrison's Gym (0141 554 7777).

Posted by scottish-boxing at 10:57 PM

April 05, 2005

Gary Young Looking To Join Scott Harrison On World Stage

Edinburgh's unbeaten Gary Young faces the reigning Russian Light Welterweight champion, Viktor Baranov, on the Arthur v Docherty undercard on Friday night and sees it as another step towards the big time.

"Scott and Alex are the main men in Scotland at the moment and I'm looking to join them," said the 21 year old Welterweight. "Both of them are involved in big title fights. Scott is facing Michael Brodie in June and Alex has a tough fight against Docherty this Friday and it won't be long until I'm in their position and involved in some big title fights that will really push me into the limelight.

"But all that will go out of the window if I slip up against Baranov."

Since turning professional three years ago, Gary Young has blasted his way three a selection of novices and journeymen, and although Baranov fits nicely into the latter of the two, it will be his biggest challenge to date.

The 37 year old Muscovite certainly doesn't lack experience and his 57 fight career have seen him in with the likes of Oktay Urkal back in 1998 in a WBC International Light Welterweight title fight as well as British names like Steve Murray, Jason Cook and Bobby Vanzie.

But in the same time period that Young has chalked up 12 wins, seven of which by way of knockout, Baranov has won just four of a dozen fights, with those wins coming against fellow Russians.

Nonetheless, Young isn't taking his latest opponent lightly.

"It's a very tough fight for me and as this is the most important year for me I will be looking to do an efficient job on Baranov to make a real statement."

Tickets for Arthur v Docherty priced at £75, £50 and £30 are available from the Meadowbank Sports Centre (0131 661 5351) and Morrison's Gym (0141 554 7777).

Posted by scottish-boxing at 04:02 PM

Thomas Cannon Ready For British Title Shot - Alex Morrison

Thomas Cannon's convincing Scottish Super Middleweight title victory has put him in the frame for a British title shot according to promoter Alex Morrison.

"After watching the performance Thomas put in to lift the Scottish title I would say he is ready to step up and have a go at the British belt," Alex told The Evening Times. "He is capable of giving any super-middle in Britain a rough ride."

Posted by scottish-boxing at 11:59 AM

April 04, 2005

Thomas Cannon Stops Barry Connell To Claim Scottish Title

The Marriott Hotel in Glasgow played host to a wonderful night's boxing on Friday and witnessed a fantastic main event that saw Thomas Cannon force Barry Connell to retire after the seventh round of their tussle for the vacant Scottish Super-Middleweight title.

It was a fitting finale to a great evening that was promoted by Morrison Promotions, on an evening that showcased some of Scotland’s newest prospects on a four fight card.

Both Connell and Cannon entered the ring looking in superb condition and they wasted no time in establishing a high pace that was to continue throughout the contest.

In the opening two rounds it was the quicker hands on Cannon that were giving him the edge as he looked to keep his defence nice and tight and work his way inside before ripping home with short hooks to the head and body.

Connell was trying to work off his jab and had some success as he found a right and a left that thudded into the ribs of Cannon. Connell was marked up after the first round and was still coming off second best in any exchanges in round number two. His gumshield was knocked out in the second from a solid Cannon right hand over the top of a sloppy jab, but the shot never really had an effect on the man from Glasgow.

Connell came out jabbing well in the third and seemed to be using his height and reach advantages to good effect, but suddenly Cannon stepped forward and forced his man back into a corner. He was pounding away on Connell who tried to slip out the side, but got wobbled by a left hook and was forced to hang on.

Cannon then applied the pressure with a right uppercut-left hook-right hook combination that again found its target, but Connell has heart and blasted back with four straights that put Cannon momentarily on the defensive.

I say momentarily because after riding out the storm Cannon blasted his opponent with a left hook that sent Connell's mouthpiece flying to the back of the hall like a bullet. After it was passed back towards the ring the action was waved on again and Cannon stayed in his role as the aggressor.

It was hard to see how Connell was going to get himself back into the fight as round number four commenced, but he dug deep in the round and really started to land some heavy shots on Cannon. After initially shipping two left hooks, Connell sprang into life when he was backed into his own corner. He drilled his foe from Coatbridge with a long right hand, then a left hook, before stepping back to reload with a right hand-left uppercut combination that sent a message to Cannon that things werent over just yet. Thomas now had to fight back and that he did when another left hook caused Connell's gumshield to be dislodged.

Round five was near enough all Cannon. He started with two rapid-fire hooks, which connected, but Connell countered him with a left hook to head and body. After that it was Cannon's punching that was noteworthy as his greater handspeed meant he was constantly getting through with short sharp hooks that Connell could now no longer avoid. Connell tried to punch back, but Cannon was setting such an outstanding pace and kept his man on the backfoot until the bell.

The sixth started badly for Connell who was cut on his right brow near the nose from three left hooks that Cannon crashed into the side of his head. Cannon was himself bleeding from the nose but he continued to break down his opponent with crunching rib-benders taking all the wind out of the sails of Connell. Testament to his bravery and courage though, he tried to punch back under the relentless assault of his opponent. While a right uppercut knocked back Cannon's head, you couldn’t help but feel that the writing was on the wall.

In round seven Connell, who was now badly bruised around the left eye too, did not receive any let up from Cannon who continually backed up his Glaswegian opponent and blasted him with heavy hooks up and downstairs. The crowd were now cheering whenever Barry was punching back, and his heart was now firmly on his sleeve as he used every ounce of remaining strength to try and hold off Cannon.

Hook after hook poured in on Connell who by now was flagging terribly and his corner were having a mini-meeting to decide whether the towel should go in or not. He kept punching back however, but by now the punches were not quite as snappy as they had been in previous rounds.

As the bell sounded to end the round and Connell sat down on his stool it was clear that his corner had seen enough and so it proved. Referee Al Hutcheon was summoned to the corner and notified that Connell had been retired and he waved the bout off.

It was a worthy main event and as well as Cannon's superb pressure fighting, Connell should get great credit for his heart and determination.

Former Scottish amateur champion Chris Black was in action on the undercard in a Light-Middleweight six-twos contest, with Birmingham's Tony Rendell that saw the Coatbridge man improve his record to 4-0 (1 KO).

Small and heavily muscled, Black looked to use his speed advantage to get inside his tall and rangey opponents guard and it was a tactic from which he reaped the dividend throughout the contest. The opening rounds followed the same pattern, with Black stepping inside the wide looping shots of Rendell to power home his swift hooks and left hand to the body.

Rendell was not without his own successes in the first three rounds, and in particular was being quite effective with his body shots, but a low left hand always gave Black room for the counter right hand. More often than not Black took advantage of his openings when they arrived, but couldn't quite apply the sustained pressure required to drop his man in seriously hot water. This was partly due to his over eagerness, but Rendell also did a good job of blocking shots with his gloves and shoulders.

Rendell got going a bit more in the fourth, landing two ripping body shots under the elbows of Black and then keeping the smaller man out of range by using his reach to pick him off from distance. Black was never out of contention in the round for too long though, and a left hook-right hook to the body was followed up by a jab and left hook to the head which made Rendell get back on his bike again.

The best punch of the night came at the beginning of the fifth as Black detonated a right hand bomb on the side of Rendell's jaw, but his chin stood up to the blast and Rendell showed no effect from the punch.

Black's trainers were urging him to straighten his shots towards the end of the round as his opponent was leaving himself wide open by swinging wide and loading up. He stuck by his hooks though and continued his dominance throughout the round and also got the better of a very scrappy final round. After a lot of clinching and fighting on the inside both men were told to tidy it up during the round, and in fairness they did just that.

At the end it was no surprise to see Black being awarded the victory with a 59-56 verdict from referee Paul Graham, and it is the former amateur star who will now look to move onwards and upwards.

Glasgow Super-Bantamweights, and former stablemates Michael Crossan and John Bothwell, squared off in a six-twos contest that was somewhat of a chess match from start to finish. When training together the two men must have sparred hundreds of rounds together and this resulted in each knowing the other's style inside out.

Bothwell took control early on as he made his opponent miss and then countered him with the jab and straight right hand, but still Crossan forced the pace and stalked his man. Bothwell was trying to keep out of harm's way by circling to his right on the ring's outer limits, and whenever he would get trapped on the ropes or in a corner he was never punished as Crossan was guilty of smothering his work.

Crossan was more composed from then on and began to land the more telling shots throughout the rest of the fight, as he would beat Bothwell to the punch, and had noted success with his one-two combination on the way in.

The bout was riddled with untidy clinching and tying-up, but Crossan's pressure proved effective and he kept backing up Bothwell and punching with both hands. Bothwell wasn't able to pick Crossan off as easily, and from this moment until the completion of the six rounds it was more pawns and rooks than jabs and hooks.

However, with this said, it was entertaining to watch two men who knew each other so well, trying to utilise their knowledge and put together round winning displays. As it happened Crossan did this more effectively and took the decision from Mr Graham 58-57, much to the disgust of Bothwell. My own card had it 59-56 in favour of Crossan.

The show opener pitted Coatbridge's Martin McDonagh against Bristol journeyman Jason Nesbitt. It was McDonagh's professional debut, and one he was making in front of a familiar crowd.

Back in October, McDonagh, still an amateur at the time, volunteered to box an exhibition contest with Colin McNeil after McNeils opponent pulled out at the last minute, and thus ensured McNeil`'s fans didn’t go home without having seen their fighter in action.

This fight was far from an exhibition however, and proved to be a very gruelling contest with both men landing some good shots.

In the opening two rounds McDonagh was coming forward and slamming in punches to his opponent's body and trying to shoot the uppercut up the middle. For the most part Nesbitt stayed tight though and looked like he was hoping McDonagh would tire. Nesbitt did open up when McDonagh got sloppy on the defensive side, and he landed some crisp uppercuts when the opportunities presented themselves.

There was more toe-to-toe action in rounds three and four as McDonagh kept the pressure on Nesbitt, who now seemed content to stand and slug it out with the debutant. It wasn't the wisest of moves - although McDonagh got a small cut over his left eye and was bleeding from the nose, he was getting the better of most of the exchanges.

It seemed that, having tasted success with the right uppercut-left hook combination, Nesbitt was trying to force those punches too much. McDonagh was wise to this and would slip them and crack home to the ribs of Nesbitt.

The fifth was an interesting round as Nesbitt began to use his reach advantage to jab McDonagh, only for the Scot to up the tempo once again and force his man back to the ropes. When they were in the clinches the two boxers were talking to one another, and this drew a warning from referee Al Hutcheon to cut out the chat and do more work.

Nesbitt looked very tired coming out for the sixth and final round, and clearly the better and harder punches from McDonagh had taken their toll. Nesbitt tried to bob and weave in a corner to avoid the output from McDonagh but only helped himself to head into two snappy hooks.

Nesbitt did try and fight fire with fire and for a brief moment backed up McDonagh with a wild two-fisted barrage, but it was his last big effort and until the end of the round McDonagh was in control.

Although McDonagh was the superior fighter for most of the fight, the referee's ruling of 60-54 in favour of McDonagh may have been unkind to Nesbitt. It still goes down as a win for McDonagh though and he will now look to improve on this in the coming months.

Posted by scottish-boxing at 11:45 AM

April 01, 2005

Scott Harrison v Michael Brodie Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets are now on sale for Scott Harrison's WBO Featherweight title defence against Manchester's Michael Brodie at the M.E.N Arena, Manchester on Friday the 3rd of June.

Tickets are priced at £125, £75, £50 and £30 and are available from Morrison's Gym on 0141 554 7777, the M.E.N Arena Box Office on 0870 190 8000 and the Sports Network Box Office on 01992 550 888.

Posted by scottish-boxing at 12:25 PM

March 31, 2005

The Gilmour Boxing Dynasty Enters Its Fourth Generation

Chris Gilmour is set to extend the Gilmour boxing dynasty by another generation by becoming a promoter.

When he meets with the British Boxing Board Of Control on the 5th of April to officially apply for his licence, Chris will be following in the footsteps of dad Tommy Jnr, grandfather Tommy Snr and great-grandfather Jim to continue a Scottish boxing legacy that stretches back more than 75 years.

"If the BBBoC grants me a promoter's licence it will be an extremely proud moment for me and the Gilmour family," said Chris who hopes to stage his first show before the end of this the current boxing season in June.

"The Gilmour name has been synonymous with professional boxing since the BBBoC was formed in 1929, so I have a lot to live up to. But I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to promote my first show.

"There are a number of outstanding prospects in Scotland and my aim is to give them another platform from which to showcase their talents."

Jim Gilmour was a founding licence holder of the BBBoC and promoted at venues such as Firhill, Cathkin Park and the famous Premierland in Bridgeton during a glittering career stretching over five decades.

His son, Tommy Snr, was recognised as one of the world's leading managers during the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, managing boxing legends such as Bert Gilroy, Jake Kilrain, Charlie Hill, Peter Keenan, Jackie Brown and Chic Calderwood.

And Tommy Gilmour Jnr, who will celebrate his 35th year as a BBBoC licence holder on the 7th of April, has promoted in his own right since the mid-1970s. Since taking over the St Andrew's Sporting Club in 1986, he has cemented its position as one of the world's leading boxing venues.

"For four generations of one family to have been involved at the highest level must be a first for boxing and is probably a milestone in any sport," said Tommy Jr. "I will be there to give Chris the benefit of my experience whenever he needs it, but we won't be promoting jointly as he needs to learn on his own - and there's only room for one boss!"

Posted by scottish-boxing at 03:29 PM