Lochaber Phoenix box­ers travel to Mother­well

The Oban Times - - Sport -

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.

Thud­ding blows

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.

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