Capital boxers crush challenge from Manchester

Brian Forsyth, left, was too strong for Shaun Williams. Pic: David Wilkinson
Brian Forsyth, left, was too strong for Shaun Williams. Pic: David Wilkinson
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Edinburgh were far superior as they crushed opponents Manchester in a sold-out boxing event at the Usher Hall.

It was the latest contest in Amateur Boxing Association Scotland’s “Edinburgh versus the world” series, both London and Glasgow having visited the Capital in previous competitions in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

This year’s duel, however, produced a complete landslide for the home boxers as their English counterparts failed to record a single victory.

With 19 contests over the course of the evening, the 2500 capacity crowd certainly got their money’s worth in a terrific arena for the sport which should be utilised more often.

The evening’s opening eight bouts were a mix of novice and exhibition fights, the hosts’ Gordon Turnbull, Prince Nadeem and Ryan Love particular standouts in the ring.

The elite boxers, Edinburgh’s Chris Given, Phil Coppola and former Scottish champion at 81kg, Brian Forsyth, all won their respective bouts, Coppola’s clash with Kevin Lobban a real tough encounter with both boxers not prepared to give an inch.

Coppola, in particular, made good use of the jab but Lobban was a tough nut to crack. Forsyth, meanwhile, came up against 40-year-old Shaun Williams and this proved another highlight with both pugilists packing the punches to both the body and head.

There were a couple of stoppages towards the latter stages of the night with Edinburgh’s trio of Craig Neilson, Kristian Mlynski and Dean McCutcheon all successful on this front. Opponents Manchester were certainly competitive throughout, but experience shone through in a resounding triumph for Bradley Welsh and his team.

Promoter Welsh deserves recognition for his video production work which was appreciated by rapturous applause from the audience in an electrifying atmosphere from all sections around the arena.

Welsh himself will attempt a Guinness world record later this month by setting himself the challenge of completing 360 three-minute rounds of boxing padwork over 24 hours.

The attempt is in memory of his mother, Patricia, who passed away in 2012. It will raise funds for Spifox, a Scottish children’s charity. Visit to donate, or for more information.