Boxing: Kingdom come to fore at national championships

Kingdom Boxing Club’s Daryl Gray won a rematch of his derby fight with Linktown Boxing Club’s Josef Galloway in Saturday's Boxing Scotland Youth and Elite Golden Gloves Championships at Ravenscraig Sports Facility in Motherwell, writes George Forrester.
Kingdom fighters James Fish and Daryl Gray were both in boxing action in MotherwellKingdom fighters James Fish and Daryl Gray were both in boxing action in Motherwell
Kingdom fighters James Fish and Daryl Gray were both in boxing action in Motherwell

Gray, who had also beaten Galloway in the Development Championships a month earlier, followed instructions from his corner perfectly as he took his time to pick his shots and land with power.

Just 90 seconds into the contest, Gray landed a big right hand to knock Galloway to the canvas.

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Although bravely getting up quickly, the Linktown man was unsteady on his feet and the referee deemed him unable to continue and stopped the contest giving victory to the Kingdom boxer.

This first round stoppage was followed by Gray’s quarter-final the following day against James McCool of Kincorth Boxing Club, Aberdeen.

McCool is a full-time boxer with the British Army team and current UK Combined Services champion so Gray adopted a different game plan against a taller and

more experienced boxer.

The Kingdom man came out faster in the first round, when he worked his way in under his opponent’s long jab, making the Kincorth boxer miss and scoring with punches on the inside as he likely took the round.

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The second round was closer, McCool changing tactics, using the ring more to keep Gray at bay with counter punches. Both boxers had good spells but McCool landed more scoring shots to take round two.

It was all down to the final round, with McCool’s confidence up and his Kingdom opponent tiring in the closing stages after chasing McCool for the three rounds.

McCool finished strongly, scoring with counter punches and combinations, and it was the Kincorth boxer who had his hand raised as winner on points on the judges’ scorecards.

Also boxing on Saturday in the semi-final of the youth middleweight division was Kingdom’s James Fish, who was up against Esosa Osemwegie of Meadowbank BC.

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Both boxers know each other having trained and sparred together and the Edinburgh boxer proved to be a little sharper in all departments.

Fish hadn’t had the best preparation for the fight due to a few niggles and pains but this is not to take anything away from the Meadowbank man who goes through to the final this weekend where the Kingdom contigent will be cheering him on to win.

As well as their boxers competing at the championships, Kingdom delegate International Boxing Association (IBA) star rated referee and judge Paul Susans was also at Motherwell representing the club.

Susans is a well respected member of the boxing fraternity and an experienced referee and judge who has travelled around the globe with Boxing Scotland to officiate at top lnternational tournaments.

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This weekend in Motherwell will see Kingdom’s Davy Nelson box in a cruiserweight division semi-final against Jack Swaney of Galashiels Boxing Club as both look to progress to next month’s final, again at Ravenscraig.

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