Lochaber Phoenix boxers travel to Motherwell
LAST Sunday three Phoenix club boxers travelled to Motherwell for a show organised by Forgewood Boxing Club.
Fifteen-year- old Cameron Whyte came through a wild shoot- out with Northwest Boxing Club’s Declan Smith and collected a unanimous decision victory for his efforts.
Smith, from Kilmarnock, is known for being a powerful, aggressive boxer and, with Whyte, was never slow to engage in a firefight. This bout had excitement written all over it before the opening bell had even rung.
As expected, Smith came out throwing bombs. What the Lochaber coaches didn’t expect was Whyte to forego any thoughts of defence and stand and trade with abandon.
Both boys planted their feet and transferred their body weight with each punch and it was easy to forget it was only 15-year- old bantamweights exchanging punches, such was the ferocity of the shots.
After a very close opening round, Whyte started to utilise his defence more which enabled him to create space to land some thudding blows in combinations. While always looking in control, the Lochaber boxer always had to be wary of his opponent’s shots as Smith always comes to win.
In the final round, Whyte was in full flow as he negotiated the minefield that was Smith’s punches and his own heavier shots were now making a distinct impression on Declan.
The tiring Smith was now falling into the trap of some outrageous feints by Cameron and at the final bell, although it had been a hugely competitive contest, Whyte was clearly a deserving winner.
Twelve-year- old Max Derbenovs had a very competitive rematch against the home club’s Andrew Sneddon, who had edged Max at the Lochaber club’s own home show a fortnight previously. It looked like Derbenovs had learned a great deal from the first encounter when he completely bossed the Forgewood boxer at the beginning of the first round, coming forward behind multiple jabs and landing his overhand right cross while fielding nothing in return. Whether it was a combination of Max taking his foot off the gas or Sneddon adjusting his tactics is uncertain but by the round’s end the Forgewood boxer was competing on at least even terms.
A feature of Max’s improvement this season has been the work he has put into his defence but in this contest it was seen only fleetingly as for spells he would be caught apparently off guard due perhaps to lapses in concentration. These were the spells that clinched victory for Sneddon. Although Derbenovs showed his customary determination, defence is the area he will work on during the close season to try to make sure next season he puts a few more Ws on his record.
Ten-year- old Josh Dieguno took part in a very worthwhile exhibition against the smaller Lloyd Delaney of Forgewood. Exhibitions are an important part of a boxer’s education as it enables the boxer to showcase the skills he has been working on in the gym in a competitive environment without the pressure of attempting to ‘ win’ the bout, instead concentrating on technique in front of a large crowd.
This bout was exactly that as Josh worked on range, tactics and self- discipline as he attempted to box to instruction, using clever movement and long-range punching. Exhibitions can on occasion be boring for a watching audience but this was an exception as both boxers showed exceptional skills for 10-year- olds. Josh showed why he was voted Lochaber Phoenix Boxing Club’s most improved boxer of the season and is one to watch for when the new season begins in September.
Photograph: Iain Feguson, The Write Image. Cameron Whyte.