BOXERS from the Whithorn Bravehearts Boxing Club travelled to Birmingham last week to compete in an invitational boxing event from Tamworth ABC.
The Bravehearts ‘battle bus’ set sail south on Friday afternoon for the much anticipated matches against the ‘auld enemy’.
First in the ring was middle weight Daniel “The Guns” Purves against Brendon Shale. From the first bell Daniel showed great strength and power forcing Shale on to the back foot and into defence mode. During the second round, after a strong attack of combination punches, Shale was unable to continue and the referee stopped the bout in favour of Purves.
Next into the sell-out lions den was Braveheart Macualey “Big Mac” Old. Due to strict weight limits in amateur boxing and the English lad Kieran Marshall weighing over the agreed 64 kg limit, the bout was declared a ‘skills’ bout, meaning no result was to be given at the end.
‘Big Mac’ moved round the ring like a seasoned pro, slipping Marshall’s jabs and returning fast and furious counters much to the admiration of the judges who at the end of the night awarded best boxer award to Macauley - a great honour in a skills bout.
The bout of the night was Connal “The Braveheart” McDonald against current British middle weight champion Ryan Hatton. From the first bell to the last Connal was all over the GB champ with straight rights landing heavily on the target area and punishing body shots that should have forced an early eight count. The two judges scored the bout 8-7, 7-6 to Hatton with the third judge scoring 12 -8 to McDonald giving the majority decision to Hatton.
Afterwards, coach Tom Jolly said: “This is the best Connal has ever boxed. He a great ambassador to the sport and in my opinion this was a win for the Bravehearts and a return match will be organised in the new year.”
Top of the bill and ending an action packed evening of top class boxing was Graeme ‘The Ghost’ Service against local hero Joshua O’Donnell.
By now the crowd was at fever pitch and in great song for a local win but the southpaw Service had a few different tricks up his sleeve, showing a new found aggression when attacking straight from the bell. He landed some powerful body shots that gradually started to sap the energy from O’Donnell. As the bout neared the end of the last round ‘The Ghost’ started his trade mark floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. This time the judges were all in agreement awarding Service an unanimous win.
Braveheart coach Wullie Martin said: “I would like to thank all our sponsors who helped out during the year to allow our boxers to travel great distances to compete against quality clubs. All our boxers showed great respect to there opponents and are a credit to our club.”