Volley of scoring punches sees Kingdom Boxing Club ace Daryl Gray crowned Scottish light middleweight Category D champion

Kingdom Boxing Club ace Daryl Gray won gold in Sunday’s Scottish light middleweight Category D (11-15 bouts) final at Motherwell’s Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, beating Joe Kinsella of Highland Boxing Academy, Inverness, on points.
Daryl Gray with gold medal after his final win in MotherwellDaryl Gray with gold medal after his final win in Motherwell
Daryl Gray with gold medal after his final win in Motherwell

The Kirkcaldy club’s fighter – who the previous day had also won on points in his semi-final against Jamie Stamp of Mactaggart Scott BC, Edinburgh, soon forced Kinsella onto the back foot, throwing punches with both hands in a close first round which he probably took.

Into the second round and Gray unleashed a volley of scoring punches, with the HBA boxer throwing the odd defensive punch but unable to escape from the corner for a good 30 seconds. He weathered the storm until the bell but this round definitely went to the Kingdom boxer.

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With both fighters looking fatigued having also boxed the day before, the pace in the final round was a little slower, which suited the Inverness boxer. It was a closer round with both men throwing and landing punches right to the final bell, although Gray just finished the stronger.

It was a brilliant performance from the Kingdom man and it was no surprise when he had his hand raised as the new Scottish champion.

The Kirkcaldy club had a total of three boxers entered in the Boxing Scotland 2023/24 Development C,D and E Championships in Motherwell last weekend, but unfortunately current Scottish 2008 Schoolboy D champion Faris Tanahill did not compete as there were no other entrants in his age and weight category.

After three close rounds, Kingdom light welterweight David Fleming lost his semi-final bout against Nith Valley’s Aidan Tarap by a split decision of three to two from the five judges.

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A clash of styles saw Fleming’s Dumfries opponent mostly box on the back foot, using his longer reach to keep the shorter Kingdom man away, with the Kirkcaldy boxer using his strength to work his way inside to land punches, although Tarap looked to take the first round.

Into the second round and Fleming was successful on a number of occasions on landing good, hard scoring punches which knocked his opponent backwards. Halfway through the round he landed a peach of a right hook to put the Dumfries boxer on the canvas.

To his credit, Tarap was up quickly to an eight count from the referee.

The Nith Valley boxer kept on the back foot on the outside of the ring to avoid any more big shots and managed to survive until the end of the round.

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After their one-minute break, both boxers came out for the last round knowing who won it would clinch the fight.

The Dumfries boxer came out to replicate the first round, keeping his opponent out of reach, moving on the back foot and scoring mostly with the long jab and straight right.

Having used a lot of energy chasing and throwing the big punches in the second round, Fleming tired and got caught with one or two too many punches before his opponent got the verdict.