McGinnis Leads The Charge As Scots Win The Battle Of Airdrie In Knockout Style.

McGinnis Leads The Charge As Scots Win The Battle Of Airdrie In Knockout Style.

Report by Gianluca Di Caro  and Photographs courtesy of Brian Hayes

Airdrie is reputed to be the site of the battle of Aerderyth in 577 A.D. when Aidan, king of Scots, is said to have been defeated in a great battle with King Roderick of Strathclyde. Well on Saturday night there was another great battle that took place just a short distance from the ancient battlefield, this time in the ring as Scotland took on Latvia in a special International event on the Gerard Welsh’s On The Ropes promotions latest offering at the Stanrigg Memorial Hall.

Opening contest of the evening see Barrie McRorie take on Igors Dubovs in a four rounder. Right from the off McRorie started working the body of his awkward opponent, Dubovs though is as tough as he is unorthodox, style wise, and seemed happy to absorb those that penetrated his guard, before countering with a hook or straight right.

As the round progressed McRorie was finding more and more gaps opening up in Dubovs’ defence and clinically punished the Latvian with combinations to body and head.

As the fight entered the final minute McRorie dummied a shot to the head, Dubovs raised his guard and the savvy Scot let rip with a cracking shot to the body to send Dubovs to the deck. As referee Liam Bonner made the count the Latvian tried desperately to rise in time but just couldn’t leaving the referee no option but to wave the fight off on the two minute six second mark.

Next up was Gary Wilson versus Dmitrijs Ovsjannikovs in a six rounder. As with the previous fight the local fighter Wilson went in hard and fast specifically targeting the body, and like his compatriot Ovsjannikovs utilised his tight defence to minimise the effectiveness of the shots.

About a minute in Wilson started utilising his jab to force the Latvian to raise his guard, which had the desired effect of leaving a slight opening to the body, which Wilson just wasn’t going to ignore, letting rip with a massive shot that was just so sweet and pin point perfect.

The durable Latvian dropped to the canvas and clearly in distress, desperately gasping for breath eventually Ovsjannikovs tried to rise to his feet, but he left it too long and only started to rise on the count of eight, which left referee no option but to wave this contest off in the first round too, this time though on just one minute and twenty two seconds.

Two fights down in quick succession, so let’s get onto the third, another six rounder, this time between Paddy Reilly and Aleksejs Nikitenko

Reilly was out in a flash as the bell opened the proceedings, the Scotsman striding across the ring in just a few steps before letting rip with a big right hand. Nikitenko reeled backward but then, as Reilly lined up another big shot, the Latvian stepped to the side and threw a big shot of his own that just failed to meet its target and so began an entertaining interlude as the Latvian began dancing around the ring in an effort to avoid further big shots landing.

Reilly though began to cut off the ring, corralling the Latvian backwards towards his own corner before proceeding to pepper the Latvian’s body with big shots. About half way through the round Reilly landed a cracker to Nikitenko’s lower rib and the Latvian dropped to the canvas like the proverbial sack of potatoes.

Almost as one the crowd were on their feet cheering their man, as they thought it was all over, but unlike in ‘66 it wasn’t as Nikitenko is made of tougher stuff and managed to get to his feet just in time to beat the count.

On the restart Reilly went at it full pelt, Nikitenko tightened his defence and absorbed the punishment, even managing to land the odd counter shot occasionally, then just as the final bell of the round literally tolled the Scot landed another massive shot to send the tough Latvian down a second time.

Nikitenko made it to back to his corner but was in clear distress, then seconds later he dropped to his knees and seemed close to throwing up, this concerned his corner so much that they caught Referee Liam Bonner’s attention and retired their man in the corner.

Fourth bout of the night, see Ben McGivern face Latvia’s Eduards Gerasimovs in a six rounder. McGivern swept across the ring like a force ten gale and just let rip with huge rights and lefts, Gerasimovs tightened his defence in an attempt to withstand the vicious assault, but when that just wasn’t holding back the banzai Scot, changed tactics and bravely went toe to toe, which instead of having the desired effect just played into McGivern’s hands – literally – and the Scot just began punishing the Latvian with power shots to body and head.

About midway through the round the continual assault had the desired effect and down went Gerasimovs. Somehow Gerasimovs managed to beat the count, but as soon as the fight was restarted he must have regretted it as McGivern just went back on the attack.

As the Round entered the final minute McGivern stepped it up a gear and basically backed Gerasimovs onto the ropes and began targeting the body of the Latvian again, and once more landed a seriously big body shot to send the Gerasimovs down for a second time.

Once again the tough Latvian managed to beat the count, and once again McGivern went on the attack until the bell signalled the end of the first.

McGivern started off the second the way he ended the first, full on attack, Gerasimovs was holding his own for the first twenty seconds or so, even though he was backed on to the ropes, but then left the smallest of openings and McGivern was in like a flash switching from left-rights to the head to slipping in a solid body shot that sent Gerasimovs down for a third time, this time though he wasn’t able to rise in time, leaving Referee Liam Bonner no option but to wave the fight off on the twenty nine second mark of the second round.

The fifth and final contest of the night pitted Kick Boxing World Champion Jamie “Ginnie” McGinnis in his second pro boxing bout against Vladislavs Davidaitis in a four rounder.

McGinnis came out hard and fast but just as he got in range it was Davidaitis that let rip first with a big Right before initially bossing the proceedings. McGinnis adjusted his game plan and did a little testing recce before lighting the blue touch paper to set off the fireworks in spectacular style, both lads were plain sensational throughout the first, so much so I couldn’t split them, score wise.

More of the same in the second, McGinnis and Davidaitis vying for centre ring, each landing some beautiful shots, but as the Round progressed McGinnis began to target Davidaitis body so much so that around the midway mark he sent the Latvian to the canvas with a pinpoint perfect shot to the lower rib.

Davidaitis made the count but was a little more defensive minded, which actually played into McGinnis’ hands, literally, and the canny Scot backed the Latvian onto the ropes and let rip with double handed combinations, Davidaitis could only counter on occasions, but that was enough to see him make it to the bell and the opportunity to get some advice from his coach.

Right from the start of the third McGinnis went on the attack and again backed Davidaitis onto the ropes and began another double-handed assault, Davidaitis once again resorted to absorbing the punishment and countering when an opportunity arose.

Davidaitis managed to spin away and then use his jab to keep the ever forward coming Scot at bay, then just on the minute mark McGinnis threw a sensational right to the chin that sent Davidaitis crashing to the canvas, his head going under the ropes and over the ring edge, to all ringside without doubt it looked like a definite knockout, and probably a bad one so nobody was surprised when referee Liam Bonner waved the fight off on the one minute and one second mark of the third, but just as he did the seriously tough Latvian stirred, raised his head and started to rise whilst complaining that he was OK and the fight shouldn’t have been stopped.

Have to say at this point, I thought it was a big knockout, not just because of the way Davidaitis landed but also the way he went down, personally I am so pleased to see a referee taking such due care about the safety of the fighter, as on way too many occasions recently there have been some nasty injuries come about because a referee has let a fight go on longer than it should.

All in all, even though no fight went the distance, it was a still an excellent, highly entertaining night of boxing, one I am sure the fans enjoyed as much as I did.

BIBA To Permit Rehydration Drinks In Competition To Reduce Dehydration and also Risk of Potential Bleeds To Brain.

BIBA To Permit Rehydration Drinks In Competition To Reduce Dehydration and also Risk of Potential Bleeds To Brain.

In March this year the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) became the first Professional Boxing Commission to introduce Infra-Scanners ringside at events sanctioned by themselves, in an effort to reduce the time between diagnosis of possible bleeds to the brain following contests and the receiving of effective treatment.

Since introducing the Infra-Scanners the BIBA Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Graham, has been undertaking research into head injuries in sport as well as investigating procedures that may assist in reducing the actual risk of bleed to the brain injuries in competition.

The on-going research has highlighted a number of concerning issues, one such issue relates to volume changes of cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) which is directly related to dehydration, as such Professor Graham and the BIBA Medical Committee, headed by BIBA CMO Dr Louise Eccles, have made a number of recommendations that they believe should be introduced as they could assist in reducing the risks.

Besides the recent introduction of the ‘Rehydration Clause’ for all day before weigh-in contests, the first of these new initiatives to be introduced is that from January 2018 rehydration drinks will be permissible for consumption by competitors during the one minute break between rounds during all contests of eight rounds and over, in an attempt to reduce excess dehydration during longer duration contests, which potentially also reduces the risk of bleed to the brain injuries.

The Effect of Fluid Intake Following Dehydration on Subsequent Athletic, Cognitive Performance & Potential Traumatic Brain Injuries

A systematic review and meta-analysis (McCartney et al., 2017) of sixty-four (64) trials derived from 42 international publications indicates:

  1. A beneficial effect for fluid intake on athletic and cognitive performance is strongest when a continuous exercise task is employed (i.e., high intensity sport e.g., boxing).
  2. The magnitude of improvement is greater when the continuous exercise is performed at elevated environmental temperatures and over longer exercise durations (i.e., boxing multiple rounds, in closed environments, where temperatures are greater than standard room temperature and pressure).
  3. The volume of fluid consumed, relative to body mass (BM) lost, does not appear to influence the size of the treatment effect. The fluid intake at levels that comply with current recommendations for restoring body water content (1.25–1.50 L per kg BM lost) are as yet inconclusive. Rehydration drinks must be allowed ad libitum.


Sensational McAllister Secures Crown in Scintillating Style in Aberdeen

Sensational McAllister Secures Crown in Scintillating Style in Aberdeen

Report by Gianluca Di Caro

Photos courtesy of Stephen Dobson

The Aberdeen Glitterati turned out in force in support of local hero, three division World Champion Lee ‘The Aberdeen Assassin” McAllister’s latest promotion at the stunning Beach Ballroom on Friday night.

McAllister is proving to be one of the most creative of promoters on the circuit today. Little touches like turning the stunning Beach Ballroom venue into a pseudo high end Casino added another level of cache to the excellent four-bout dinner show.

The show itself was originally due to feature four International Championship contests, unfortunately one of the title fights was cancelled after Ghana’s Ekow Wilson failed to obtain his visa in time, but the fans were not to be disappointed in any way at all as the three remaining Championship contests plus a late replacement International four rounder provided more than enough action and drama to sate any pugilistic appetite.

First fight of the night sees Bardley, Lincolnshire’s Nathan Decastro in action against Estonian Eduard Belas.

This bout had been added to the card a week or so prior, following Decastro’s challenge against Spain’s Ronny Landaeta for the IBF European title, which was due to take place the same weekend in Malaga, Spain, being called off due to rather unsavory actions by the Spanish Federation.

It was clear from the off that Decastro was still smarting from the cancellation of his IBF European Title Challenge, as right from the opening bell went in hard and fast letting rip with vicious uppercuts and body shots at every conceivable opportunity, no surprise then that within the first twenty seconds or so Belas was sent to the canvas.

Belas managed to make the count but was soon under increasing pressure from Decastro, who peppered the Estonian with a series of combinations before letting rip with a big shot to the body to send Belas to the canvas once more.

Surprisingly Belas made it to his feet for a second time, however immediately the fight was restarted Decastro went straight in hard and fast to send the Estonian to the canvas a third time, this time Belas couldn’t make the count, leaving referee Lee Murtagh no option but wave the fight of on the 52 second mark of the first round.

Decastro’s record now reads 10 wins, 8 by way of Knockout, no losses or draws.

Next up was Sandy Robb versus Latvia’s Aleksandrs Roldiguns for the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver Cruiserweight Championship.

To describe the first round as ‘technical’ would be an understatement; both protagonists took their time, testing their opponent’s mettle with impressive strong jabs to body and head. As the round progressed Robb kicked up the pace a little and started to slip in the occasional combination, in an attempt to break down the Latvian’s defense.

In the second, both decided to step up the pace, which worked well for the Scotsman, as this opened up more opportunities for Robb to breakdown Roldiguns excellent defense with crisp flowing combinations as well as a couple of big right hands to the body.

More of the same in the third, about half way through the round Robb backed Roldiguns onto the ropes and landed a cracking shot to the side of the Latvian’s head before switching to the body, the Latvian appeared disoriented and shortly after began grabbing hold of Robb at every conceivable opportunity, in a vein attempt to prevent the Scots lad landing further big shots. Roldiguns received numerous warnings, not just for holding but also to keep his head up when in close.

The fourth round was very messy, as Roldugins continued to keep grabbing and holding Robb each time the Scotsman came close. Quite early on in the round Referee Lee Murtagh decided to put an end to the Latvian’s shenanigans by deducting a point.

Even after the deduction Robb’s attempts to get back down to boxing were thwarted, as Roldugins persisted in holding each time Robb closed the Latvian down. After numerous further warnings for holding Referee Lee Murtagh’s patience came to an end and Roldugins once more had a point deducted.

Shortly after the restart, during another close quarters foray, there was a sickening thud as the boxers heads clashed, leaving a cut over Robb’s eye. Referee Lee Murtagh deemed it to be an accidental clash of heads.

Almost immediately after this Roldugins once more grabbed hold of Robb, who had backed the Latvian onto the ropes, and began rubbing his head against the cut over Robb’s eye. This infringement was the final straw as far as Referee Lee Murtagh was concerned, immediately disqualifying Roldiguns on the 2 minute 50 second mark of the fourth round.

Following the official results announcement PBC President Mr. Russell Jacques presented Sandy Robb with the PBC Silver International Cruiserweight Championship Belt.

The third fight of the night see local lad Nathan Beattie in action against Ghana’s Tackie Annan for the PBC Silver International Lightweight title.

Right from the opening bell both lads went to work methodically, Beattie utilizing his strong jab to keep Annan at bay, whilst the Ghanaian sought out angles in an attempt to land some strong right hands to the Scotsman’s body, mostly in vein though as Beattie’s defense was as strong as they come.

Second round started out with Beattie very much in control, the Scotsman thwarting the efforts of the highly mobile Ghanaian with panache. As the round reached the midway point Annan found an opening and let rip with a big looping right hand to send Beattie crashing to the canvas.

Beattie just about made the count but was clearly disoriented and unsteady on his feet, leaving Referee Lee Murtagh no option but to wave the fight off after just 1 minute and 34 seconds of the second round.

After the official result was read out MC Douglas McAdam announced that as Tackie Annan had failed to make the Championship weight, at the weigh-in the day before, that the PBC International Lightweight Title remains vacant, as under Championship rules a boxer that fails to make the weight can still compete but is not be eligible to win the Championship, only the boxer that made the weight could actually win the crown.

The fourth and final fight of the night featured Aberdeen’s very own Lee McAllister against the very tough Ghanaian Ishmael Tetteh, for both the PBC International and Commonwealth Super Welterweight Championships.

With over a hundred pro contests between them, including numerous Championship bouts, it didn’t surprise anyone in attendance that McAllister and Tetteh would put on an all action, slick display of boxing at it’s very best, and boy oh boy did they do just that.

From the off both vied for centre ring position as if their lives depended on, no pussyfooting around with these two, it was all out war. Surprisingly it was the Ghanaian that eventually wrestled control of the middle ground, or maybe not as that seemed to suit McAllister, who throughout the first round utilized the outer ring with great effect, often he would step in and let rip with blisteringly fast combinations before moving back or stepping to the side just out of range of the countering exocets thrown by Tetteh.

Round two was just phenomenal, you just couldn’t take your eyes of the action for a second, it was mesmerizing to watch as the pair set to work on their game-plans, one moment they were going at it hammer and tongs in a toe to toe war, and the next some seriously slick boxing which had the ensemble crowd on their feet.

As the round was moving towards it’s conclusion McAllister stepped up the pace and went in hard and fast, letting rip with shots from every conceivable angle, much to the delight of the fans, who seemed convinced that their man was going in for the kill. Wow what a round.

It was more of the same in the third, but the fourth was something special. McAllister seemed determined to end the fight as quickly as possible, letting rip with power shots to head and body. Initially Tetteh would cover up and try and withstand the onslaught, but about midway through the round changed tactics and met the Scotsman head on in centre ring and started throwing bombs of his own.

Round five started off with a beautiful close quarters exchange, which must have lasted close to ten seconds and only came to an end when Tetteh appeared to slip and fall to the canvas.

As Tetteh rose to his feet, and yes Referee Lee Murtagh deemed it a slip, McAllister began rousing the crowd before going straight for the Ghanaians jugular with power shot after power shot. Tetteh stood his ground countering with great effect but on about the minute mark McAllister threw a pinpoint perfect power shot to the Ghanaian’s lower rib, to send him down to the canvas and gasping for breath.

The fans thought it was all over and began celebrating, however that soon came to an abrupt end as terminator Tetteh rose to his feet to just beat the count.

McAllister once again encouraged the crowd to get behind him, which they did with gusto, and then proceeded to go in hard and fast with sensationally quick hands to body and head, initially Tetteh stood his ground countering, but in doing so left a smidgeon of an opening that the canny Scot just couldn’t resist, letting rip with huge uppercut to the floating rib, no surprise Tetteh returned to the canvas but this time there was no chance of him making the count no matter how hard he tried.

Referee Lee Murtagh waved the bout of on the 1 minute 48 second mark of the fifth round and shortly after PBC head honcho Russell Jacques proudly presented McAllister with the stunning PBC International and Commonwealth belts.

It must have been over an hour before McAllister finally vacated the ring though as he then proceeded to invite various dignitaries, as well as numerous well wishers, into the ring to have photos taken with him and the PBC belts, which I thought was a really nice touch.



Corito’s War With Pylypenko Ends In Dramatic Bloody Fashion

Corito’s War With Pylypenko Ends In Dramatic Bloody Fashion

Report: Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs courtesy of Lionel M. Cassola

On Friday evening at the MedAsia Playa in Sliema, Malta, local promoter Darren Casha pulled all the stops out to present one of the most exciting nights of Boxing and Music to herald the end of the summer season on the Islands.

I’ve been to some sensational events over the years, but have never attended anything like this before.

The ring erected at the MedAsia Playa on the shores of the Mediterranean

Firstly the location, which was right on the shores of the Mediterranean, and seriously I mean right on the shore, as the ring was set up across one of the swimming pools at the stunning MedAsia Playa, literally just a couple of meters at most from the shimmering Mediterranean Sea.

The music, well what can I say, no less than Dance Chart toppers Phats and Small performed throughout the event and when not actually performing vocalist Ben Ofoedu MCd the Boxing element.

Talking of which let’s get down to the boxing, well the start of the boxing element at least, as prior to the actual fights a minutes silence as well as a Ten Bell Salute were made for the legendary Jake LaMotta, who passed away just a few days before as well as for former Polish American Boxer and Kronk Coach Peter Pozyczka who passed away exactly 12 months to the day.

Peter’s daughter Victoria, who had travelled from California to Malta for the anniversary of his death, was is attendance as a special guest and was invited into the ring to talk about her father, who had fought in Malta back in the 1990s and was so taken with the people and the beautiful Islands that Victoria felt Malta would be the perfect place to scatter his ashes on the anniversary of his passing.

OK, now onto the Boxing. The headline bout was a pro Heavyweight contest between Malta’s own Billy ‘The Hitman’ Corito and Ukrainian Igor ‘The Beast’ Pylypenko.

Pylypenko received a genuinely warm welcome from the eight hundred or so revellers in attendance, but when Ben Ofoedu announced the imminent arrival of local hero Corito the decibel level went off the dial.

Round one see both protagonists go straight on the attack, Pylypenko throwing out big straight jabs in an effort to stop the hard charging Corito landing any of his trademarked big swooping shots. As the round progressed the big Ukrainian used his height and reach advantage to good effect, stepping in and letting rip with big right and left combinations before stepping back before Corito could land anything significant. However that didn’t deter the Hitman, he just walked his way through, taking the odd shot here and there, before getting his shots off on the inside. Cracking all action round.

More of the same in the second, although at times the fight turned into a hybrid form of boxing/MMA with the big Ukrainian tying up Corito each time he came on the inside, and on the odd occasion literally hooking his leg round Corito’s as well as rather suspect use of his head. So it came as no surprise that Corito sustained a rather nasty cut above his right eye.

The third round wasn’t much different, except Corito stepped up a gear and was able to find the room and land some sensational shots, one of which sent Pylypenko to the canvas. It was a very bad round for the Ukrainian, points wise, as referee also deducted a point after catching Pylypenko again using his head when in close combat.

The fourth was again a full on war and unfortunately quite early on there was another clash of heads, not sure if deliberate or not by the Ukrainian, but the after affect being a serious cut over the left eye of the Maltese Champ.

With blood covering his face Corito had the appearance of a Gladiator in full battle at the Colosseum, and the way he fought he would have fitted right in, clearly realizing there was a chance the bout would be stopped Corito went to war throwing huge shots, whilst many landed solidly, the big Ukrainian soon reverted to tying his opponent up and backing him onto the ropes in a relatively vain attempt to prevent further big shots landing.

Doctor stitches Billy Corito’s cut on left eye

About midway through the round, referee Charlie Cardona called time out and had Corito’s corner wipe some of the blood from his face. The fight resumed with Corito very much on the ascendance but a minute or so later there was another close quarters clash of heads. This time the referee called time out and signalled for the ringside Doctor to inspect the cuts, following the inspection the Doctor signalled that the cuts were way too serious for the contest to continue and Referee Charlie Cardona waved the contest off on the two minutes and forty-nine seconds mark of the fourth round and declared the contest a ‘Technical Draw”.

Prior to the headline Corito-Pylypenko contest were three exhibition bouts, the first being a Malta Vs UK contest between local lass Marie Claire Church and Sophie Gelder from Sheffield, which was followed by an all Maltese contest between Team Corito’s Way boxers Redent Galea and Paul Zammit and the final exhibition bout see Malta based Former World Champion Scott Dixon against Bradford’s Chucky Robson, who had taken time of from his honeymoon to take part.

As I said at the beginning this was one serious special event and the location was, well what can I say, just phenomenal. I just hope that Darren Casha does another just like this next year, if he does I’m booking my flights right away.


Gallagher Beats Bazo To Secure PBC Crown in Liverpool

Gallagher Beats Bazo To Secure PBC Crown in Liverpool

Report: Gianluca Di Caro – Photographs courtesy of Kirsty Radcliffe


There was a true feast of boxing action on offer Saturday night, both live and on TV, Billy Joe Saunders defending his WBO Crown in London, Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin battling it out from supremacy of the Middleweight ranks is Las Vegas, yet still the Merseyside boxing fans turned out in force to support one of their own, Dayle Gallagher, as he fought for his first Championship, at the Jubilee Sports Bank in Liverpool.

Unusually instead of being the final contest of the evening, Liverpool’s unbeaten Dayle Gallagher clash with the Czech Republic’s Daniel Bazo for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Welterweight title, was the opening pro bout.

Gallagher is fast becoming one of the top prospects in the welterweight division, on Saturday night he proved just why he is becoming one of the most talked about young fighter from the City, as throughout the battle with Bazo he showed a maturity that belied his young age, keeping a cool head and sticking to his game plan against the seriously tough and awkward Czech fighter.

Round one see both lads taking a mature and professional approach to the proceedings, tentatively testing the other out, don’t get me wrong when I say testing I don’t mean tippy-tappy stuff, but them both taking their time and picking their shots.

Round two was a totally different affair, which see both lads aggressively attacking, yet in a controlled manner, it was a all action and a great round for the fans of pugilistic arts.

More of the same in the third, and to a degree the fourth, however Gallagher’s shots were carrying more power than in the earlier rounds, Bazo definitely is no walk over and the Czech lad countered in impressive manner throughout.

As we entered the second half of the contest Bazo stepped up the pace, yet Gallagher kept his head and stuck to his game plan rigidly and patiently kept his cool, picking his shots for maximum effect.

In the sixth Bazo again tried to force Gallagher to up the pace, but the savvy Scouse lad kept his cool and countered the hard charging Czech impressively.

More of the same in the seventh BUT the eighth was fought at a scintillating pace – changing the feel of the bout from a battle to an all out war- phenomenal round!!!!

After eight very, very close fought rounds referee Christopher Kelly scorecard rightly read 79-77 in favour of Liverpool’s own Dayle Gallagher – after which PBC’s head honcho Russell Jaques presented the beautiful PBC belt.

Second pro bout see local lad Johnny McConville against Stockport’s Will Cairns in a four round Middleweight contest

Wow, what can I say these two warriors went to war right from the off, I couldn’t have kept count of the big shots thrown by both protagonists in the first if I wanted to, there were just so many, and even more impressively the amount that landed, from both protagonists.

Initially it was hard to split the pair on who had thrown more or the most powerful but a winner for that particular round became apparent in the final minute as McConville landed a pin point perfect body-shot to send Cairns down. The Stockport lad is clearly made of sterner stuff, as not only made the count but went on the attack for the final seconds of the round.

As in the first, Round two was all action with both lads dishing out vicious power shots to body and head throughout – what a round, you just couldn’t take your eyes of the action for a single second.

It hardly seems conceivable but both lads kicked up the pace even more in the third, the action was frenetic, that was until around the halfway mark when again McConville landed another sensationally powerful body shot – plaudits to Cairns as not only did he make the count but, as before, instead of covering up for the inevitable hard and fast attack by McConville turned the tables and went on a full force frontal attack the final minute or so. Have to say that round was pure pugilistic heaven to watch as both lads determinedly fought to retain centre ground as if their lives depended on it

As the seconds ticked down towards the bell, McConville summoned up another of his pin point accurate body shots to send his foe to the canvas for the third and final time – referee Chris Kelly waved the contest off on the 2:58 second mark of the third stanza

The third and final pro bout of the night see another local young lad, Martin Freeman making his pro debut against the tough and durable Marty Kayes from Belfast.

Before I get to the fight itself I just have to say that in my view Freemen a new star shone brightly for the first time last night and I feel that this youngster is destined to go right to the top in the sport, this kid is class, serious class.

Ok, the fight itself was pure joy to watch, Kayes is one savvy operator and as tough as they come. Believe me the Irishman really put Freemen to the test and the more importantly the youngster passed with flying colours.

Freeman controlled the proceedings with ease, his ring-craft was superb and his shots were incredibly accurate, have to say if that was anyone other than someone like the super tough and durable Mr Kayes sharing the ring on Saturday night the result could quite easily have been a stoppage win on his debut, but in the last 13 years only one man has managed to stop the Irishman, and that was former Team GB star Iain Weaver!

After four sublime rounds of action referee Chris Kelly rightly scored the contest 40-36 to Martin Freeman.

Congratulations to not just all the boxers, but also to Fight Club promoter Kyle Gallagher, each of his shows I’ve been to has been superb, not just the location or production of the events, but also for his care to ensure that each fight is equally matched, not over matched to give the home fighter an advantage as seems to be the norm these day, can’t wait for his next offering.

Someone’s ‘O’ Has To Go – Decastro Vs Landaeta Showdown For IBF European Crown on October 21st

British Super Middleweight Nathan ‘Nightmare’ Decastro (9-0-0 with 8KOs) is set to challenge Spain’s Ronny Landaeta (12-0-0 with 8KOs) for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) European Super Middleweight European Championship at the Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena in Malaga, Spain on Saturday October 21st.

Decastro, the current MBC International Champion, who is currently ranked #13 in the IBF Intercontinental ratings, spoke briefly on learning of the golden opportunity.

“I can’t put into words what this fight means to me, I am a fighting man and fighting is my life.

This is a golden opportunity that I will take with both hands and show everyone what I’m made of.

Huge thanks to Lee (Manager Lee McAllister) for sorting this, what can I say, I only signed with his Assassin Boxing Promotions and Management company a few weeks ago and already he’s already got me a shot at title.

To fight for any title is an honour, but to fight for a coveted IBF belt is something else.

I know this is not an easy fight, Ronny’s undefeated in twelve and has successfully defended his Spanish title twice against top class opposition, but then again he’s not fought me yet, I’m not called the Nightmare for nothing.”

Nathan’s Manager, Three Time World Champion Lee McAllister, then added

“This a cracking opportunity for Nathan to catapult himself in to the World rankings, exciting times ahead for him if he’s successful.

We know we are going into the Lions den as massive underdogs, but I will be making sure that Nathan has space in his bag for the belt when coming home.

That’s not all, If all goes well in the next few days I hope to be announcing another Assassin Boxing Promotions and Management boxer challenging for an IBF title, here in the UK this time though”


Flying Scotsmen McGivern, Wilson, McRorie and Reilly Score Big Wins In Paisley.

Photo: Moments before McGivern drops Richardson with powerful combination.

Flying Scotsmen McGivern, Wilson, McRorie and Reilly Score Big Wins In Paisley.
Report: Gianluca Di Caro – Photo Courtesy of On The Ropes TV

On Saturday evening, at the On-X Centre in Paisley, the latest offering from Gerard Boyle-Welsh and his On The Ropes team took place. For those that have yet to attend an On The Ropes promoted event, this may be small hall boxing, but believe me the production quality of their events easily equals, if not betters, many of the larger Arena shows from far better known promoters.

It’s not often you see full blown light show, DJs, big screens, stunning promotional girls, full in house broadcast team not just filming the fights but also post fight interviews at small hall shows.

OK, enough about the production let’s get to the point of the report – The fights themselves.

First fight of the night see Coatbridge’s Ben McGivern against debuting Malcolm Richardson from Blackpool.

Right from the off this bout had the hallmark of a classic small hall fight written all over it. Both lads got straight down to business, attacking from all angles in some style. However around the first minute or so of the round local lad McGivern landed a massive shot to the body. Have to admit, the shot was so venomous I was mightily surprised, no that should be impressed, that Richardson made the count.

On the restart McGivern didn’t need the partisan fans in attendance or his esteemed corner man on the night, three time World Champion Lee McAllister, encouraging him to get back in hard and fast, he just did, landing further big shots to back his not yet fully recovered opponent on to the ropes, before letting rip with yet another massive right to the body with much the same effect as the first, Richardson valiantly tried to rise as the count reached its conclusion, but just failed to do so – Referee Liam Bonner waved the bout off and declared McGivern the victor on the one minute and twenty eight second of round one.

Next up was Perth’s Gary Wilson against debuting James Calveley from Liverpool.

To an outside observer this may have looked a bit of a mismatch, as Wilson towered over Calveley by a good six inches or so, but fight wise it was anything but.

First round see the protagonists locked in a gladiatorial battle that wouldn’t have been out of place at the Colosseum in Rome all those years ago – seriously was a cracking round that swung one way and then the other as they battled it out in centre ring.

Initially it was more of the same in the second that was until Wilson landed a peach of a shot to send the plucky Scouser down.

Calveley made the count easily but Wilson had no intention of letting his opponent off that easily and kept the pressure up with some nice combinations culminating in another huge right to send Calveley down again.

Calveley just about made it to his feet as the count reached eight, but on rising was very, very unsteady on his feet, so much so that referee Liam Bonner had no option but to stop the contest on the one minute fifty one second mark of the second round.

The third contest of the evening see Bellshill’s Barrie McRorie take on tough and very awkward Latvian Vladislavs Davidaitis.

The round started quite sedately with both men sussing the other out for the first minute or so, then it was all action to the final bell, as the two warriors let rip from every conceivable angle.

Round two was more of the same although to be fair both protagonists had settled into a slightly more realistic pace and were landing far better shots than in the first.

Round three see Davidaitis getting more and more success, don’t get me wrong McRorie was landing some real tasty shots of his own, but have to say that was the Latvians round.

The fourth and final round was a cracker, as in the previous rounds the two lads went at it hammer and tongs throughout, however the pace had taken its toll on Davidaitis and the final minute he was fighting his heart out just to survive the continual onslaught from the fired up Scotsman.

After four scintillating rounds Referee Liam Bonners scorecard showed McRorie victorious by a 39-37 points score line.

So onto the final bout of the night, which featured Bellshill’s Paddy Reilly against Vadims Konstantinovs.

Konstantinovs’ fight style is similar to fellow Latvian Vladislavs Davidaitis, as such Reilly had his hands full, albeit right from the opening bell, as unlike in the previous fight both protagonists had only one thought in the mind – attack, attack, attack.

It was a full on war, both lads were intent on throwing as many big punches as possible, at the expense of their defences I should add, which ultimately led to Konstantinovs being caught by a cracking shot, that sent him to the canvas around the end of the first minute.

The Latvian made a right mess of judging when to rise, whilst on one knee he kept looking between the referee and his corner as he awaited the signal, which he got back a fraction too late, rising only as referee Liam Bonner actually counted and signalled the eighth time, not just before.

Not only was Konstantinovs distraught when the referee signalled fight over but so was Reilly who was fired up and wanted the fight to carry on, well he’s a fighter and he wanted to fight so can understand that. Actual time of stoppage was one minute and forty-nine seconds of the first round.

What a great night, OK three of the four fights were over well inside the distance, but that can’t take away from the performances of the fighters or as I mentioned at the start, the quality of the promotion itself, I for one can’t wait for the next.

BIBA Afghanistan License Boxers Allah Dad Rahimi, Zafar Azizi & Waisuddin Ghawsi

BIBA Afghanistan License Boxers Allah Dad Rahimi, Zafar Azizi & Waisuddin Ghawsi

L-R Zafar Azizi, Allah Dad Rahimi and Waisuddin Ghawsi

Back in July the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) and the Afghanistan All Martial Arts Federation (AAMAF) announced that they have joined forces to create the new professional boxing sanctioning organization BIBA Afghanistan to develop boxing in the region as well as sanction events throughout the Country.

Virtually immediately the news broke local Amateur boxers began discussions with BIBA Afghanistan’s Secretary General Shukrullah Fazili. The first of these boxers, Zafar Azizi and Waisuddin Ghawsi have now made the transition from Amateur to Professional status under the BIBA Afghanistan banner.

In addition to the two Amateur boxers, one fight pro Allah Dad Rahimi has also received his BIBA Afghanistan license.

On announcing the news of the first boxers to receive their licenses, BIBA Afghanistan Secretary General Shukrullah Fazili said.

“It is a proud day for BIBA Afghanistan, to license our first boxers.

Allah Dad Rahimi, Zafar Azizi and Waisuddin Ghawsi are very good boxers and we look forward to them boxing, in Afghanistan and Internationally, soon.

The interest from boxers is overwhelming and we already have further applications for BIBA Afghanistan licenses being processed.”


Khan and Newell in Sensational Knockout Form Reign Supreme in Bradford

Khan and Newell in Sensational Knockout Form Reign Supreme in Bradford

Report: Gianluca Di Caro
Photos Courtesy of Joe Ibbotson

The boxing scene in the North of England is really booming, especially around the cities of Leeds and Bradford. One of the main reasons for the increase of professional boxing events in the area is due to Bradford’s very own reigning World Boxing Union (WBU), Global Boxing Union (GBU) and World Boxing Confederation (WBC) World Champion Tasif Khan, who for the past couple of years has been working closely with Leeds based promoter Bridie Murtagh to bring stylish Boxing Dinner Shows to the area.

The latest of these took place at the Royal Taj, formerly the Connaught Rooms, in Bradford, which not only featured the aforementioned Tasif Khan himself in action, against Tanzania’s Julias Kisarawe, but also heralded the return of unbeaten Lightweight prospect Justin Newell from Leeds, who faced Latvian Aleksandrs Birkenbergs

Besides the local lads on the card, exciting Super Welterweight prospect Chris Wood from Middlesbrough was in action against Belfast’s Marty Kayes, however two top class International bouts scheduled for the event, a ten round Middleweight contest between Ishmael Tetteh and Philip Kotey, as well as an eight round Welterweight contest between Frank Dodzi and Justice Addy, failed to materialise due to visas for three of the boxers failing to arrive in time.

Whilst disappointing that these two fights didn’t go ahead, there was more than enough action to keep the fans happy, as promoter Bridie Murtagh arranged for two exhibition bouts featuring local lads to replace the Internationals ahead of the pro element.

First up was Chris Wood against Marty Kayes in a four rounder.

What a cracking start to the pro section, it was all action right from the opening bell, Wood was clearly fired up and went on the attack, closing down his far more experienced opponent before letting rip with a vast array of combinations at every conceivable opportunity. Kayes though is as savvy as they come, would cover up and seemed more than content to let the fired up youngster get his shots off before countering.

After four scintillating rounds the referee’s scorecard unsurprisingly read as a 40-36 points victory for the Teesider Chris Wood.

Next up was unbeaten Justin Newell in a six rounder against the very tough Latvian Aleksandrs Birkenbergs.

Newell was on fire, slick movement and very fast hands – Birkenbergs was no walk over and landed a cracking right hand about midway through the round, which lit the blue touch-paper for Newell, who went hard on the attack throwing some tasty big shots to body and head, which ultimately led to Birkenbergs taking a visit to the canvas. This kid’s tough, he was straight up and going toe to toe with Newell until the end of the round.

Round two was fantastic to watch, both lads giving no quarter – beautiful boxing from both, but Newell’s class proved just too much for the plucky Latvian as the Leeds lad piled some serious pressure in the second half of the fight before letting rip with big double handed salvos that sent Birkenbergs to the deck in the dying seconds of the round, no matter how hard he tried Birkenbergs just couldn’t make the count – great win on his return to the fray for Newell who won by TKO, the time would you believe 2 minutes and 59 seconds of round two.

The headline fight see WBU, GBU and WBC World Champion take on Tanzania’s Julias Kisarawe in a ten round non-championship contest, instead of the scheduled twelve round World Boxing Confederation (WBC) Super Flyweight title defence for Khan, due to lateness of the visa arriving for Kisarawe to complete the necessary Championship paperwork for the contest to be sanctioned by the WBC.

First round started fast and see Kisarawe taking the fight to Khan, however the Bradford lad stood his ground and picked his shots for maximum effect

More of the same in round two, except this time it was Khan that took the fight to Kisarawe.

Round three see Khan really start to get in a flow, regularly backing his opponent up before letting rip with wickedly fast double handed salvos, the power and speed in Khan’s shots finally had the desired effect and the super tough Tanzanian took a very brief trip to the canvas.

On the restart Kisarawe went hard on the attack, throwing seriously solid lefts in an attempt to do unto Khan what the Bradford lad did to him moments before (with 14 KO wins on his record Kisarawe is very capable of doing just that)

Round four was an outright war and fascinating to watch, as was round five and six but for very different reasons. Khan stepped not just one gear but at least two or three and corralled the Tanzanian into a corner and just plain bombarded him with double handed Exocets throughout

More of the same in round seven but this time Khan managed to penetrate Kisarawe’s world class defence and sent him to the canvas for the second time.

Kisarawe managed to make the count but it was clear for all to see that he was in some distress, so much so that referee James Ancliff had no option but to stop the contest on the one minute twelve second mark.

What followed then was a good thirty minute celebration in the ring by Tasif Khan, his team AND many of the fans!!!!

Have to say the Khan/Murtagh co-promoted shows I’ve attended have always been top class, however this event, even though a couple of fights short, was by far the best one yet, the fights were all beautifully matched all action affairs, what more could any fan of the pugilistic arts wish for. Can’t wait for the next, which I hear is going to be in December.


Hill Secures Celtic Crown as McIlroy Returns In Knockout Fashion in Ayr.

Hill Secures Celtic Crown as McIlroy Returns In Knockout Fashion in Ayr.

Report by Gianluca Di Caro
Photos courtesy Kevin Thorne

It may have been unseasonably wet and windy on Saturday evening, but the inclement weather didn’t deter the local fans turning out in force for three division World Champion Lee McAllister’s latest promotional offering at Ayr Town Hall on Saturday night.

Prior to the first fight of the night, MC Douglas McAdam gave a passionate, yet solemn, eulogy for Scottish Boxing Legend Toby Dixon, father of former World Champion Scott Dixon, who had sadly passed away the previous Sunday aged 87 years, followed by a ten-bell salute.

Following the ten-bell salute was the opening contest, between Prestwick’s Leon Roberts and Liverpool’s Paul Peers was an absolute barnstormer of epic proportions.

Right from the opening bell, both young warriors charged into centre ring and locked horns in a true Gladiatorial Battle Royale that thrilled the ensemble audience for the entirety of the contest.

After four all action rounds, the fans showed their appreciation, for such a truly excellent, closely fought contest, to both fighters with a standing ovation, and that’s before Referee Edward Law’s scorecards were even read out, no surprise then that when it was and showed local lad Robert’s receiving the victor’s laurels the decibel levels went through the roof.

Next up was another cracking fight between Aberdeen’s Nathan Beattie and Belfast’s Marty Kayes. Whilst not quite an all out war like the preceding bout, it was a fantastic technical contest that thrilled the fans in a different way.

The two lads clearly know each other very well, no surprise since they had sparred previously, as well as fought each other on Beattie’s debut. This personal knowledge of the others style, could easily have had a negative effect, making for a boring fight, but not in this case.

Both protagonists showcased their superb pugilistic skills and exceptional ring craft throughout the contest, as with the previous fight, many of the rounds were very close, so it wasn’t a foregone conclusion just who would have their hand raised at the end of six hard fought rounds, however the Scottish fans were not to be disappointed as it was Beattie that got the nod from scoring Referee Edward Law.

Have to say the next bout, between Irvine’s Sandy Robb and Belfast’s Ryan Kilpatrick looked like it was going to be another thrilling all out war for the first minute or so, as the dynamic duo planted themselves in centre ring trading power punch after power punch.

However, Robb’s superior experience came into play, the canny Scot dipped under the Irishman’s leading arm, before letting rip with a massive pinpoint perfect body shot to send Kilpatrick down to the canvas and take the win by first round TKO right on the one minute and thirty second mark.

Next up see the return of Irvine’s very own George McIlroy against Stockport’s Will Cairns, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Middleweight Championship.

The partisan crowd gave Cairns a very warm welcome, as they had for every single fighter throughout the evening, however once again the decibel levels went through the roof when their man McIlroy began his ring-walk.

Round one was a hard fought affair, both protagonists were clearly fired up and determined to become the first ever Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Champion, so much so that control of the round changed hands so often in the early stages, however that was soon to change, when McIlroy landed a powerful body shot to send Cairns to the canvas in the second half of the round.

Much to the delight of the crowd, McIlroy’s confidence grew in the early stages of round two, the canny Scot controlling the proceedings seemingly with ease, don’t get me wrong Cairns had his fair share of success in the second, just that he was being a wee bit more cautious than he had in the first.

More of the same in the third, with McIlroy seemingly controlling the majority of the action, however saying that, the shot of the round was definitely Cairns, who cleverly engineered a sensational move that see him open up the excellent guard of the Scotsman for the merest fraction of a second, but more than enough for Cairns to land a massive right to the granite chin of McIlroy.

McIlroy stepped up the pace early in the fourth, corralling Cairns in to a corner on a number of occasions, the Englishman managed to fight his way out in true style a couple of times before the Scot got through his guard and sent him to the canvas for a second time.

Following the restart McIlroy was all over Cairns like a rash, the Englishman maybe rashly decided that attack would be the best form of defense, whilst landing a few good shots this action left him open and McIlroy didn’t need a second invitation, he just walked Cairns back towards his own corner before letting rip with a massive onslaught ending with another big right to the body to send Cairns down once more.

Cairns made it to his feet but was clearly unsteady, sensibly referee Edward Law decided not to take any risk and waved the fight off on the one minute and twenty-five second mark of the fourth round.

Headline bout of the night was a second PBC Championship contest, this time between World Boxing Foundation (WBF) United Kingdom Champion Symington’s Sammy Hill and Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly for the PBC Celtic Welterweight Silver Crown.

Without doubt this proved to be the perfect fight to close out a fantastic night of pugilistic action, it was one helluva closely fought battle that could have gone either way.

In fact by three quarters of the way through I was convinced the result was going to be a draw. The all action bout see control switch not just round by round, but seemingly minute by minute.

In the penultimate round Hill stepped up the pace, just as it seemed Kelly was beginning to fade a little. This proved to be a pivotal point in the contest, as Hill went on to secure the win and his second Championship belt in as many contests by a mere two points.

Following the event promoter Lee McAllister, not only praised the boxers but also announced that he would be back in Championship action later this year, on a self-promoted event at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on the 20th October.