Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
‘Coatbridge crowd’ cheer Mark to win
Coatbridge boxer Mark Mckeown says a huge local crowd made it feel like a home show when he fought in Sunderland earlier this month.
Mckeown beat Mexican Uriel Lopez at Probellum Unstoppable at Sunderland’s Rainton Arena on December 18, winning by unanimous decision after six punishing rounds.
That was on the same card as fellow Coatbridge legend and Keir Hardie Boxing Club teammate Ricky Burns, who beat Argentina’s Emiliano Dominguez Rodriguez, and Mckeown was delighted with his night’s work, and the response they got.
Mckeown, 27, said: “It was brilliant. We had a great build-up to it and it was a fantastic fight against a tough Mexican, who had formerly won the WBC Latino Super Bantamweight title, so it was a good win for me.
“The Mexicans are well known for their tough come-forward style, and that was a mixture of my style as well.
“I have an aggressive style as well, so it made for a great fight for the fans.
“I had four pro fights previously, two were in front of crowds and two behind closed doors, so although it was down in Sunderland, you know what the Coatbridge team is like!
“We’ve got a massive boxing fan base and we took a good crowd down, so when we were coming out to the ring it was like a home fight.
“They’re right behind us, the support has been unreal – even in the aftermath, all the support and messages we’ve had has been brilliant.
“It’s great to know we have that backing behind us.”
Nicknamed ‘Sparky’, Mckeown had been sparring with Burns but the former three-weight world champion joined Keir Hardie, and signed up with the same team of Barry Clark, Kev Morrison and Gary Smith.
That has proved to be invaluable, and Mckeown says they support each other.
He said: “I’m training with Ricky, he’s my clubmate now.
“It was great just taking in all the experience he’s got, and the different ways he goes about his training in the build-up to his fight.
“For my last fight we had been sparring together, and then he started training at our club.
“It was good to see the way he went about his business coming up to the fight and stuff. It was good just having him training alongside me.”
Nothing has been formally announced, but both Mckeown and Burns hope their next bout in 2022 is in front of a home crowd.
Sparky said: “There’s nothing announced yet, but they’re talking about getting us out early after the new year for a show in Glasgow, so we’ll have a wee break over Christmas and then we’re right back in the gym after the new year.
“That would be brilliant.”