Local boxers set off on title quest

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OVER one hundred of the best amateur boxers in Scotland will answer the bell in their quest for title glory when the Scottish Senior and Youth Championship preliminaries take place at Meadowbank Stadium this weekend.

The east of Scotland will be well represented at the event on both Saturday and Sunday with the likes of the Lochend and Holyrood clubs entering ten and seven boxers respectively.

Lochend coach Terry McCormack is confident his middeweight Tommy Philbin can win the 75kg crown despite stiff competition from clubmate Lewis Akinlami, Meadowbank’s Greg Murphy and Holyrood’s Scott Blair.

“Philbin’s hunger to beat all comers for the Scottish middleweight title can be seen by the fact that, despite working nightshift in a fish market, he’s been doing with only a few hours sleep while training to ensure he’s in the boxing form of his life,’’ said McCormack.

For Lochend, David Dickson goes at bantamweight, while light-welterweight duo Lewis Benson and Elias Gear could line up against Holyrood pair Kevin Ballantyne and Alan Anderson. Craigmillar’s former Scottish champion Jason Easton is also in that division.

The event also sees the debut of Lochend’s Indian internationalist flyweight Pushker Singh.

Clovenstone light-heavyweight, Pieyam Khosrowpour, fit and fired up since his sparring sessions last week with British super-middleweight title challenger Kenny Anderson, knows that Holyrood’s 81kg ace Brian Forsyth is likely to be the man to beat in a division which also features Clovenstone clubmate Kevin Gorrian.

Meadowbank coach Mark Geraghty is sure his lightweight Lewis Paulin can add to recently-won 60kg Intermediate and Eastern titles. “The lightweight class is choc-a-bloc this year with quality opponents like Holyrood’s Phil Coppola, Lochend’s Ian Keys and Kevin Skey and Newarthill’s Charlie Flynn but I still think Paulin can win his way through to the final at least. Our light-welterweight Sean Spence is also in with a chance of causing an upset.’’

Meanwhile, according to coach Ray Gibson, Leith Victoria’s sole entry to the championships, welterweight Sean Eng, won’t be overawed by the opposition like Holyrood’s Scottish internationalist Chris Givan or Meadowbank’s Owen Spence. “Eng is in a division loaded with good opponents but he’ll be giving it his best shot tomorrow,” said Gibson.

Admission on both Saturday and Sunday costs £15 for adults and £10 for concessions. Boxing commences around 1pm.