WHITHORN Bravehearts Amateur Boxing Club were the runaway winners of a cross-border challenge last weekend winning seven out of the nine bouts to win the trophy.
The boxers travelled to Grange-Over-Sands last Friday to compete in an England Select versus Scotland Select.
Team captain Ryan Fairhurst led the Braveheart boxers, proudly displaying the Saltire, into the ring, to exchange pennants with their English rivals.
This was the biggest turnout of Braveheart talent with 11 boxers ready to show off their skill, all piped into battle by piper Fraser Kelly, who accompanied the boys.
The first contest of the night was debutante Connor “The Hit Man” Jolly up against his opponent from Kendal ABC.
The first round was unmissable with both boys willing to take punches to get their own punches off. The second round was more one-sided with ‘The Hit Man’ punishing his man with sharp right jabs. In the third round the pace slowed with Jolly using slick footwork to stay away from his now desperate opponent. At the end of the fight, both boys’ hands were raised as this was a skills bout.
Next into the ring for the Bravehearts was the current 48kg Scottish Schoolboy Champion - Tyler “The Hot Dog” Jolly. Tyler immediately started wearing down his tall rangy opponent by countering the English boy’s jabs with lightning fast reflexes. The second round was equally competitive with Tyler showing off his power. The fight was Tyler’s to lose as he was now taking the fight to the shellshocked Englishman. Tyler continued to keep up the pressure on his opponent with big shots to the head and body. To the delight of the Bravehearts Tyler’s hand was raised as the winner.
Next up was Sam ‘The Shadow’ Saunders. Both he and his English opponent came out throwing heavy blows to each other’s heads with ’The Shadow’ looking more decisive with his punches. He was clearly ahead on points going into the second round and he never stepped off the gas, letting his opponent know of his power by scoring big right hooks to the head. Round three was the most enthralling yet as Sam dominated his opponent right down to the last seconds of the contest when his final thunderous right hook shook the foundations of the hall and nearly put his opponent on his back. But to the astonishment of the Bravehearts supporters, his opponent was declared the winner.
Sam Mactier, ‘The Boghouse Bomber’ was up next, boxing nicely in the first round keeping a tight and tidy shape, picking off his man with stinging left-right combinations. Round two was more action packed with Mactier forcing an eight count from the referee due to Sam stunning his opponent with long and straight powerful combinations. Round three was a mind-boggling battle with both boys giving their all, going all out for the win. But the decision went unanimously to ‘The Bomber’.
Mark ‘Dogg’ Milven was next to step into the ring. The first round was very even and tough to score as both boys put up a good defence. Round two saw both boys exchange heavy blows to the head. In the last round, both boys continued to find it difficult to land any scoring shots. To much the disappointment of the travelling support, the English boy won the tie.
Then it was the turn of current 80kg Scottish Champion Connal McDonald going up against the North East English Champion. It was tricky for the Braveheart in the opening round as the Englishman showed off a quick jab and good footwork. This only motivated Connal who, after a word with his coaches Wullie Martin and Tom Jolly, picked up the pace in the second round proving to be too strong and slick for his opponent, forcing the English boy onto the ropes. McDonald went downstairs to the body, this proved to be a decisive move, as it forced his opponent onto the defence. Connal then switched levels going to the head, forcing a standing eight count.
Kit ‘Can’t Touch That’ Wright was the next Braveheart to box. He and his opponent fought out a head-to-head battle from the bell, exchanging crunching hooks. Round two was more of the same with the boxers keeping their guard tight. The last round brought the crowd to its feet, but at the end it was disappointment for Kit when his opponent was declared the victor.
Next up it was Graeme ‘The Ghost’ Service who took control of his bout immediately, showing off his power and slippery movement. Round two was a contender for the round of the night. Graeme was digging in with big hooks and uppercuts to the body, stunning his opponent with his quick jabs. Both young men showed great heart and solid chins in the last round before making it all the way to the end. There was a great round of applause when Graeme’s hand was raised by the referee after a unanimous decision.
Mccauley ‘Big Mac’ Old then stopped into the ring. ‘Big Mac’ made a big point of showing off his fast and furious hand speed which proved too much for his opponent to handle. The Braveheart’s swift and powerful combinations forced his opponent to give up in the first 30 seconds, one of the quickest knock outs ever for the Bravehearts.
The main event of the night was Braveheart’s captain Ryan ‘Boom Boom’ Fairhurst against a boxer from Kendal. Fairhurst went all out in the first round hitting his opponent up with a good stiff jab and a hard left hook. Ryan burst into life in the second round, putting his man on the back foot with a series of massive right hooks and bone crunching body shots, forcing the referee to step in and issue an eight count. Ryan went out knowing he could hurt his man and ‘Boom Boom’ did just that, winding up a right hook that exploded onto the English jaw. The Kendal boxer did well to stay on his feet. To no one’s surprise Fairhurst was announced as the winner.
That last win made it seven out of nine wins for the Bravehearts who took the trophy for the contest.
Coach Tom Jolly said: “It’s a proud day for the Bravehearts coming all the way down to Kendal and winning so convincingly.”
Bravehearts chairman and fellow coach Wullie Martin added: “Tom and I are so proud of the boys commitment and dedication towards the club. We hope this continues at the Newton Stewart show on May 6.”