Championship success for Lochaber Phoenix boxers
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.