all roads led to Newton Stewart’s Douglas Ewart High School last Sunday for the sell out Whithorn Bravehearts Boxing Club show with boxers travelling from Sunderland, Carlisle and various Glasgow clubs to compete in what now is an annual fixture in the boxing calendar.
Bravehearts special guest of the day was the legendary Olympic gold medallist Dick McTaggart. Dick delighted the boxing fans by signing everything from t-shirts to programmes and even some body parts.
The first part of the show was to showcase the Bravehearts young development squad, which saw seven Bravehearts schoolboy boxers demonstrate their skills against 10 boxers from various visiting clubs. This is the first time any boxing show has every managed to get 17 boxers in and out of the ring in a 30 minute slot.
The crowd was full of parents nervously watching there youngest grow in ability and confidence. The school headmaster Mr Cowie praised them all showing “great skill and effort”.
Tyler Jolly was the first Braveheart boxer to compete in a proper bout in the afternoon against a Glasgow opponent. When the MC announced the contest the noise of the crowd was said to be heard in Minigaff!
As soon as the bell rang, Tyler showed fantastic hand speed and footwork moving round the ring like a season pro, but the Glasgow lad wanted his name on the winners trophy and gave no quarter, booming massive hooks with both gloves. Tyler controlled the pace of the bout by slipping shots and countering succesfully.
When the decision was announced as a split decision going to the Glasgow boxer the home crowd gasped in astonishment. But Tyler, being a sportsman, shook his opponents hand and request a rematch on the next available show date.
There were two call offs at short notice due to the winter vomiting bug and stand in opponents were found for Daniel Purves and Connal McDonnald. Helping out were two Carlisle ABC boxers, with one of them working a nightshift in Wigan before travelling to Newton Stewart to box that afternoon, showing great commitment to his sport and his club. Both bouts had to be an exhibition of skills with no decision awarded due to the weight / age rules in boxing.
“Lightning” Macauley Old was up next boxing against another of the Carlisle boxers in a thrilling toe-to-toe encounter which resulted in Macauley receiving the ‘best home boxer of the day’ award sponsored by the DEHS and presented by PE teacher Mike McCann.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Graeme Service’s arm was raised in victory against his Motherwell opponent. This was a crowd pleasing moment as the decisions were not going Team Braveheart’s way. But Graeme use all his skills and put pressure on his opponent in the first round, forcing the referee to give the Motherwell boxer a mandatory eight count.
During the remainder of the bout Graeme used his ‘southpaw’ style to great effect, powering in blistering body shots that the Motherwell lad found difficult to defend against.
The penultimate bout of the day was Bravehearts local hero Kit Wright, against a Dumfries boxer. This turned into a non-stop war of attrition with both boxers wanting to win.
Kit’s power was unstoppable as he also caught his opponent in the first round with a tremendous right hook that forced the referee to stop the contest for a mandatory eight count. Round two and three continued with similar action with the Dumfries boxer coming forward all the time throwing powerful hooks. Kit’s defence was solid and his ability to mix a variety of fast and furious combinations that scored points meant there was no doubt in the judges’ score cards that Kit was the unanimous winner.
After the charity auction which raised over £1000 for the DEHS, thanks mainly to the presence of Dick McTaggart, the final bout of the day was Ryan ‘Boom Boom’ Fairhust against a boxer from Kislyth ABC.
This was the main event and the hall was packed to capacity with the crowd on their feet trying to get a better view. The bell sounded for four rounds of boxing and the action began with Ryan setting to work at short to medium range booming his trade mark hook at his opponent’s body to good effect. But the Kilsyth boxer, being a current Scottish champion, had travelled down with the intemtion of putting up a fight and he bobbed and weaved and countered Fairhurt with single shots. The score going in to the last round was even and all was to box for. Fairhust got off the stool as the bell rang and gave his all, using his experence and skill. But the Kilsyth boxer had simular ideas and the crowd were treated to a display of sheer guts and determination as both fought hard to win the bout.
The referee’s decision went to the Kilsyth boxer after a brave display from both boxers.
The best away boxer award was given to the Kilsyth boxer and best boxer of the season award was given to Tyler Jolly. Braveheart coaches Tom Jolly and Wullie Martin would like to thanks all boxers, sponsors and lucky ticket holders for making this another fantastic event.