World champ Keith wins in Pais­ley

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Mur­ray Spooner

Croft­foot man and Muay Thai kick box­ing world cham­pion Keith McLach­lan de­feated Aaron O’Cal­laghan of Ire­land in his first fight of 2016.

The 36-year-old won the 59.8kg-class clash inside five rounds at the ON-X arena in Lin­wood, Pais­ley, on March 26.

In what was McLach­lan’s 26th vic­tory of his ca­reer, the coach at Mary­hill’s Grip­house gym felt it wasn’t his best per­for­mance inside the ring.

He was knocked to the floor in the open­ing round by a strong punch by O’Cal­laghan but man­aged to re­cover.

McLach­lan threw his op­po­nent to the can­vas on two oc­ca­sions in the sec­ond round and pulled off strong and ac­cu­rate punches on O Cal­laghan in the third.

The Ir­ish­man was cling­ing to the ropes on oc­ca­sions as McLach­lan started to get the bet­ter of him and the Croft­foot man was named the win­ner fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful fi­nal two rounds.

Speak­ing to the Re­former this week, McLach­lan said:“I’m very happy with the win but I thought it was go­ing to be a lot harder. It was a fight that I had been look­ing for­ward to for a long time and it turned out to be

McLach­lan added:“It was not my best per­for­mance and the can­vas was very slip­pery which af­fected my coun­ter­ing and try­ing to get some of­fence go­ing at times. “It ac­tu­ally af­fected both of us. “I spoke to Aaron af­ter­wards and we were both say­ing it wasn’t giv­ing you con­fi­dence when you went to throw any­thing.

“I can’t com­plain though be­cause I’ve got the re­sult.

“If you had a look at a WBC fight re­port then it prob­a­bly looked like a close fight but I did more than enough to win it. I landed more clean punches.”

“Aaron was cling­ing to the ropes at times be­cause I was get­ting the bet­ter of him when I was try­ing to make a sweep.

“Aaron was only do­ing what you would nat­u­rally do to try and stay on your feet.”

McLach­lan’s next fight will be against Bruno Almeida from Por­tu­gal on June 25 in Wi­gan were he will hope to se­cure his sev­enth vic­tory in a row.

26th win McLa­clan cel­e­brates

Bout-iful

McLach­lan shows his joy

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