No op­po­nents af­ter an 11-hour sham­bles

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Mur­ray Spooner

Cam­bus­lang box­ers trav­elled 200 miles and were left wait­ing al­most 11 hours be­fore be­ing told they had no op­po­nents to fight at a Bri­tish tour­na­ment.

Daniel McMur­ray, 16, and Chloe Bod­wick, 14, made the trip south with O’Neils ABC coaches on the un­der­stand­ing they would com­pete in two bouts at the UK Golden Gloves Box Cup, on the week­end of April 7.

Both young box­ers have strug­gled to be matched up with op­po­nents in re­cent months due to their size and weights.

And with the prom­ise of two each at this year’s event in Manch­ester, coaches Andy Clay­ton and Brian Mur­phy were keen to put the duo for­ward.

How­ever, the North­bank Av­enue club are now £800 out of pocket while Daniel, 80kg, and Chloe, 52kg, have failed to gain any com­pet­i­tive ac­tion ahead of Bri­tish ti­tle fights next month.

Andy, who has been a box­ing coach for 22 years, ex­plained: “It was a to­tal sham­bles.

“Daniel McMur­ray has been es­pe­cially hard to match up be­cause of his size and weight so we thought this was a good op­por­tu­nity for him to get fights un­der his belt.

“We were wait­ing all day un­til 6pm on the Satur­day and no­body had told us any­thing.

“And then Brian went up to ask one of the of­fi­cials if they had any fights lined up on the day or Sun­day and he was told no­body was in there in their cat­e­gories.

“With accommodation, we are £800 down which is a lot for a wee club.

“Danny and Chloe have the three-na­tions tour­na­ment in May and this would have been good prepa­ra­tion for them.”

Coach Brian in­sists O’Neils will not be re­turn­ing.

He added: “In all my 30 years as a box­ing coach I have never ex­pe­ri­enced such a badly or­gan­ised event.

“We were told Chloe’s op­po­nent was 52kg so Chloe would have to go down in weight to match it. But when we got there we were told her op­po­nent was 54kg.

“In the case of Daniel, other clubs pulled their box­ers out be­cause they got fed up of wait­ing so he had no­body to fight and he was guar­an­teed two fights.

“It cost the club hun­dreds of pounds to come here to not get a con­test.”

Or­gan­is­ers of the Golden Gloves re­sponded to “un­for­tu­nate neg­a­tiv­ity and ar­ray of in­cor­rect slan­der­ous so­cial me­dia posts” by re­mov­ing their Face­book and Twit­ter plat­forms and is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment: “It is with deep re­gret and dis­ap­point­ment that the sec­ond day of the event has been can­celled.

“The in­ten­tion of the UK Golden Gloves Box Cup was to pro­vide young box­ers with a plat­form to com­pete in an ex­cit­ing and sus­tain­able tour­na­ment. Un­for­tu­nately, due to cir­cum­stances be­yond our con­trol and in the in­ter­ests of the safety of the par­tic­i­pants, of­fi­cials and staff, the col­lab­o­ra­tive de­ci­sion of all stake­hold­ers to cut short and can­cel day two, re­gret­tably had to be taken.

“UK Golden Gloves Box Cup are deeply dis­ap­pointed and sad­dened that what could have been an en­joy­able and pos­i­tive event has ended and ex­press grat­i­tude and apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience to those clubs, par­tic­i­pants, of­fi­cials and spec­ta­tors who tried their up­most to make the event a suc­cess.”

Down Chloe Bod­wick

Frus­trated Daniel McMur­ray

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