Boxing: Lochend club looks to expand

Lochend boxing gym
Lochend boxing gym
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Lochend boxing club’s Terry McCormack today revealed he is in talks with Amateur Boxing Scotland over possible funding to extend his club’s gym.

While McCormack’s facility in Sleigh Drive plays host to a number of promising fighters, both in the amateur and professional ranks, he is keen to raise the bar still further.

The success of the club is not in doubt and the prospects for 2012 are very encouraging. Notably, Prestonpans’ Josh Taylor could yet make the GB team for the Olympics if he impresses in a qualifying tournament in Istanbul in just a few months, which would cap a remarkable rise in fortunes for the man who won silver at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.

Founder and head coach McCormack speaks with not only pride, but also ambition, about the gym which has 12 coaches. He has more than 25 years’ experience as a competitor, trainer and coach. “Our gym is full to overflowing with boxers ranging from amateur champions and pro fighters to our 2012 Olympic games possible Josh Taylor, and we have a large group of new entrants to the sport, six of whom we expect to make their debuts this year so gym space is at a premium.

“Consequently, I’m negotiating with ABS bosses to help us get funding to significantly expand our training facilities. Right now I am having to turn youngsters who want to join our club away because our present facility can no longer match the demand for membership.

“Should we secure funding, we would extend the existing building and introduce ten new punchbags, an improved weights room and separate shower and dressing-room facilities for our growing number of female boxers plus also a disabled ramp and toilet.”

Quite apart from his hopes of improving the Lochend gym itself, McCormack is keen to showcase his stable of up-and-coming boxers.

“With Taylor tied up until April with trying to make the London Olympics, the mantle of our leading boxer has fallen on light-welterweight Lewis Benson’s shoulders,” he said. Benson had an outstanding 2010 beating his two biggest rivals, former eastern champions James Thomson and Jason Easton for the district title in November, and impressing against the British Army in a a match while wearing a Scottish vest.

McCormack added: “I am confident Benson can win the Scottish senior title next month and grab more rave notices in a Scottish vest because he’s the best 64kg boxer in Scotland.

But the coach is keen to highlight his other prospects.

“I think our middleweight Tommy Philbin will win his first Scottish senior 75kg title next month and Tommy is determined to improve on his international record having lost his last two Scottish internationals closely on points.”

In the Intermediate Championships on January 28 for boxers with six or less bouts, McCormack is aiming to have around six men boxing. “Our light-flyweight Sean Henderson is another guy I expect great things from in 2012,’’ he concluded.

CRAIGMILLAR

COACH Kenny McCartney is looking to Scottish light-welterweight champion Jason Easton to fly the flag for the club, but also has hot prospects like Sean Swanney, Joe Murray and Tony James.

LEITH VICTORIA

COACH Ray Gibson is confident his fighters can acquit themselves well at this month’s Intermediate Championships at Motherwell on January 28 with best prospects being light-heavyweight Connor Brown and Gibson’s own son, Tyler, a light-flyweight.

HOLYROOD

LOOK out for Brian Forsyth and Chris Givan to impress along with Phil Coppola and Martyn Warner. The club also have two female boxers, flyweight Magdalene Berns and lightweight Louise Mitchell, who will box for Scotland later this month in Sweden in the ‘’Golden Girls’’ Box-cup event.

EAST LOTHIAN

COACH Hamish Colgan will have six boxers such as Martin Buist, Ian Trotter and Keith Colgan in the Intermediate championhips.

MEADOWBANK

LIGHTWEIGHT Lewis Paulin will seek glory in the Scottish Seniors next month where he will be joined by the Spence brothers, Owen and Sean.

SPARTA

Boss George Forsyth is upbeat about the prospects for the club’s two main stars, lightweight Calum Vardy and middleweight Keith Barr.