Edinburgh boxers hit form at Usher Hall

Paul Deegan outpointed Glasgow's James McCory as the Capital boxers won 8-4. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Paul Deegan outpointed Glasgow's James McCory as the Capital boxers won 8-4. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Edinburgh’s team of boxers downed their opponents from Glasgow 8-4 in front of a capacity crowd at the Usher Hall.

With more than 2000 in attendance, Brian Forsyth stayed true to his word and his birthday wish came alive as he overpowered opponent David King to take a resounding victory, while the Capital’s Chris Givan defeated a three-times English champion. Victories for Paul Deegan, Gordon Turnbull, Alan Ancurm, David Townsley, Kevin Ballentyne and Phil Coppola made up the result.

The event, organised by registered charity Amateur Boxing Association Scotland, is the latest in the “Edinburgh versus” series and promoter Bradley Welsh is hugely encouraged by the reception received in the wake of Friday’s fight night.

“It was absolutely brilliant and bigger than [the last event] Princes Street Gardens,” Welsh said. “It’s not just all about the boxing – it offers an evening of alternative entertainment. We’re bringing people together and offering something quite unique. All the boxers loved every minute of it and the crowd respected the guys from Glasgow. The audience were sitting in their seats wanting more and I, myself, couldn’t have asked for any more.

“I really want to create a boxing public in Edinburgh. I want to focus on raising the profile of amateur boxing and get people back into the gymnasiums. That’s why I have opened up the biggest gym in the country on Gorgie Road and there’s more to come. It’s such a fantastic sport and that’s what I am trying to show – that it’s not white collar boxing which some people think it is.

“I am taking Edinburgh boxing by the scruff of the neck and dragging it up there – it’s about exposing it. Will there be a bigger crowd for a sporting event this year outwith football or rugby? I am not so sure. We’ve got a clear approach with Manchester coming in March, and London and Dublin also lined up as well.”

Edinburgh novelist Irvine Welsh, who now resides in Chicago in the US, was ringside himself after a trip home to his native Scotland and he took to Twitter to pass comment on how impressed he had been by the organisation of the whole event.

He tweeted: “Well done on a brilliant show at the Usher Hall last night boys.”

Bradley Welsh did, however, disclose that the author of Trainspotting will assist him in the prospective launch of an international contest which would see a team of Chicago boxers cross the Atlantic for a similar show, but a venue capable of a higher capacity would be his preference. However, Manchester are the next side to make the trip north, with the event expected to be contested in March next year.

Bradley Welsh added: “Irvine is going to lend his hand over there with some of the people he knows so we can hopefully launch an Edinburgh v Chicago event and that is what we are striving for at this moment in time. In the meantime, I’m now really looking forward to the next clash with Manchester.”