Cham­pi­onship suc­cess for Lochaber Phoenix box­ers

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

TWO Lochaber Phoenix box­ers have fea­tured in the fi­nals of the North­ern District cham­pi­onships, held in In­sch near Aberdeen, last week­end.

Fif­teen-year-old Robert MacDon­ald faced Jimmy Laing, who hails from In­sch it­self. MacDon­ald started brightly, work­ing his way for­ward be­hind a strong jab, mov­ing into medium range where he fired strong hooks to body and head. As the round drew to a close, Laing be­gan to try to gain the cen­tre of the ring and had some suc­cess but the round be­longed to Robert.

The sec­ond round saw Laing con­tinue as he fin­ished the first, claim­ing the cen­tre of the ring and try­ing to force MacDon­ald onto the back foot. Robert un­wit­tingly obliged Laing as he in­ex­pli­ca­bly boxed only in straight lines and was out­worked by the In­sch boxer in close.

Ev­ery­thing rested on the last round and the Lochaber boxer acted ac­cord­ingly as he blasted out of the blocks at the bell and fired pow­er­ful punches with both hands, driv­ing Laing to the cor­ner. This sus­tained at­tack was the real high­light of the round as, af­ter the first half minute of MacDon­ald’s dom­i­nance, the rest of the round de­vel­oped into a war of at­tri­tion with nei­ther boxer land­ing clean, scor­ing punches.

The strong start to the round was the de­cid­ing fac­tor in this cru­cial round and Robert took the ti­tle by way of split de­ci­sion and thus be­come Fort Wil­liam’s lat­est cham­pion.

Seven­teen-year- old Kevin Aitchi­son had the prover­bial moun­tain to climb when he faced Highland Box­ing Acad­emy’s multi-ti­tled Jake MacDon­ald in the fi­nal of the youth wel­ter­weight cham­pi­onships. MacDon­ald is, among other things, a for­mer Scot­tish Open cham­pion and is eas­ily the best boxer Aitchi­son has faced.

Kevin has re­ally im­proved in the past 18 months but this would prove to be the real acid test of just what lev­els he has reached.

The taller Aitchi­son clev­erly kept the con­test at long range in the open­ing round, re­fus­ing to let MacDon­ald close and us­ing sharp foot­work to avoid any quick at­tacks by the In­ver­ness boxer.

MacDon­ald, how­ever, did man­age to close the gap slightly bet­ter in the next round but, if truth be told, so few clean shots were landed by ei­ther boxer in this chess match of a box­ing con­test that it was in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate them.

The fi­nal round car­ried on in the same vein al­though per­haps Jake landed a cou­ple more eye- catch­ing punches.

Af­ter three rounds of the most en­gross­ing ac­tion, MacDon­ald gained the de­ci­sion and the ti­tle but Aitchi­son can be very proud of a per­for­mance that was far and away above any­thing he has pro­duced in a box­ing ring pre­vi­ously.

Four­teen-year- old Cameron Whyte was also sched­uled to ap­pear in his fi­nal but un­for­tu­nately his op­po­nent with­drew a few days be­fore­hand.

Box­ing champ Robert MacDon­ald.

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