Boxing: Hooray for Holyrood after Forsyth delivers real saga

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Holyrood’s Eastern light-heavyweight champion Brian Forsyth and his Western counterpart Michael Aitchison from Renfrewshire produced a superb and absorbing toe-to-toe battle of wills in the Leith Victoria Christmas show bill topper at Edinburgh Masonic club yesterday.

For all three rounds, Forsyth and Aitchison subjected each other to non-stop volleys of head and body punches, but it was Holyrood ace Forsyth’s better body-punching skills which brought him a deserved majority points victory against a tough opponent who made him work for a hard-earned win.

However, it was Forsyth’s Holyrood middleweight clubmate Chris Given who produced the best bout of the show, with Given very unlucky to lose a majority points verdict after he and his opponent from Renfrewshire, Stewart Burt, earned the capacity ringside crowd’s applause by loading up on each other with rib-bending body shots for three tough rounds. In contrast, had Clovenstone lightheavyweight Pieyam Khosropour employed the same body-punching tactics as Given and Burt, he might have been a points winner over his tall, rangy, rival from the Keir Hardie club, Jamie Lamb, who towered over Khosropour and looked tailor made to struggle against sustained body attacks. However, the Clovenstone boxer relied too much on head punches – many of which opponent Lamb blocked – to lose by a narrow points decision.

A badly-injured right shoulder in the first round was Lochend lightweight Kevin Skey’s explanation why he faded badly against eventual winner, Holyrood southpaw switch hitter Phil Coppola. Skey dominated Coppola in round one but the Holyrood switch hitter capitalised on Skey’s injury from round two onwards to win comfortably.

Leith Victoria welterweight Sean Eng failed to exploit his height and reach advantages as his opponent from Motherwell’s Keir Hardie club Garry Smith swarmed all over the host club boxer with crashing left hooks over Eng’s left jab, leaving Smith a unanimous winner on the judge’s cards. Similarly, Sparta’s Callum Vardy defeated Tranent Bronx club’s Stephen McGee in a cracking contest while Craigmillar’ featherweight Sean Swanney made up for recent inactivity due to injury by outscoring East Lothian’s Martin Buist.

The first half of the Masonic club show also featured an excellent win by Clovenstone featherweight Ryan McCutcheon over Lanarkshire’s Scott Witherspon of the Cleland club, while Chirnside’s Steve Wlliamson got revenge for a previous points loss to Leith Victoria middleweight Gregor Korsak by emerging as the victor this time around.

Other Results: Middleweigh: Craig Hunter (Strathclyde University) defeated Colin Currie (Leith Victoria) on points. Youth bout: Ben Grant (Chirnside) defeated Darren McGraw (Leith Victoria) on points.

* THREE Lochend boxers scored a hat-trick of wins over North-Eastern opposition at Peterlee, Durham, in a North-East England v Scottish select on Friday.

Light-welterweight Lewis Benson , Middleweight Tommy Philbin and youth light-flyweight Sean Henderson each beat their respective English opponents on points.