Boxing: Brian Forsyth conquers his inner demons

Lewis Benson, top, floored his opponent inside 20 seconds. Picture: Toby Williams
Lewis Benson, top, floored his opponent inside 20 seconds. Picture: Toby Williams
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Super middleweight boxer Brian Forsyth revealed Saturday night’s victory over Rotherham’s Louis Rutherford at Meadowbank was “make or break” for the former Scottish champion.

Forsyth, 29, had been feeling far from content despite securing a win in his professional debut against Christian Hoskin Gomez in June before his bout with Luke Allon in September ended in a draw.

However, the fired-up Capital fighter conquered his inner demons to secure a second-round stoppage over Rutherford on MGM Scotland’s ‘Edinburgh Fight Night’ bill and is now targeting a more prosperous 2016.

“That was make or break performance for me,” a relieved Forsyth told the Evening News. “I needed to see an improvement and for going forward in my career. I feel brilliant. Everybody is looking for the knockout, it’s what everybody wants, everybody craves and it’s good for the record. But all they months of training, pushing yourself to the limit for just four minutes, it’s hardly worth it. But that’s boxing for you and what everybody comes to see.

“I was perhaps going back to old habits and pushing myself too much but I can see the advantages of moving down to Lochend. It’s been brilliant.

“I knew it was never going to go the full distance after the first round. I thought the referee should have stopped it when he went down for the third time in the opening round but he gave him the benefit of the doubt.”

Despite those reservations over his previous stints in the ring, Forsyth looked assured from the first bell and dropped his opponent to the canvas three times in the opening round.

Rutherford resembled a wounded animal and after two body shots again sent the Englishman crashing to the deck, the towel was thrown from his corner that brought the contest to a halt.

Former Meadowbank amateur Lewis Paulin turned in an equally impressive performance in his points victory over Dean Evans.

Paulin, 25, who signed a three-year deal with Glasgow promoter Alex Morrison in June, encountered a stern test against an opponent ten years his senior but produced the more clinical shots on his way to a 40-37 victory – his third win as a paid boxer.

Former Lochend amateur Tommy Philbin was never troubled in his bout with Luke Allon, leading with the jab and picking off his opponent at will. A bloody Allon looked uncomfortable as Philbin controlled the bout from start to finish en route to another satisfying win.

Former Livingston amateur Thomas Dickson, making his pro-debut, outboxed veteran Kristian Laight to a routine win before Lewis ‘Bad Boy’ Benson secured his first stoppage of his career against Matt Seawright.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games representative caught the Tamworth fighter with a great right hook just above his left eye inside 20 seconds.

Seawright did try to make a go of it but the bout lasted a further 40 seconds as Benson was awarded the stoppage.

Crusierweight’s Stephen Simmons also delivered a TKO in the fifth round of his duel with Lithuania’s Imantas Davidaitis, the eastern European somehow lasting over 12 minutes as Simmons set upon his opponent despite revealing prior to the fight his preparations had been hampered by a stained tendon to his left hand.

However, with Davidaitis pinned against the ropes in the fifth and looking for a way out, the referee took that decision off his hands by awarding the Scot the win.

And, despite appearing the most composed boxer on the night, Stephen Tiffney was far from complimentary regarding his points win against Sheffield’s Qasim Hussain.

“It was tough but I expected it and he was a lot more awkward than I thought he was going to be,” the featherweight fighter said. “It’s maybe a bit stupid to feel like this as I know I’m not going to be stopping everyone but I wanted to go out there and hurt him.”

Elsewhere, Dunfermline’s Gordon Brennan kicked off the night with a points victory over Andy Neylon and Benson’s Commonwealth Games heavyweight team-mate Ross Henderson registered his second win as a paid boxer with a straightforward win over Poland’s Jakub Wojcik.

In the main contest of the night, Caldercruix’s David Brophy edged out Wales’ Tobias Webb in their super middleweight Commonwealth title-eliminator.