The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Sen­sa­tional Suther­land.

Suther­land beats ill­ness to see off tricky Lithua­nian op­po­nent for ninth suc­ces­sive vic­tory

- BY SEAN WAL­LACE Sports · Boxing · Martial Arts · Aberdeen F.C. · Ireland · Celtic F.C. · Glasgow · Commonwealth of Nations · United Kingdom Monarchy · United Arab Emirates · Treetops Hotel

Aberdeen wel­ter­weight Dean Suther­land has re­vealed he strug­gled with ill­ness in the build-up to extending his winning record.

The 21-year-old de­feated Lithua­nian Edv­inas Pu­plauskas 59-55 at the Hil­ton Tree­tops Ho­tel to make it nine wins from nine.

How­ever “Deadly” Suther­land’s prepa­ra­tion was de­railed by a cold which he ad­mits hit him in the fi­nal rounds of the fight.

He said: “I had been bat­tling a cold all week.

“I only re­ally felt that in the fifth and sixth rounds as my move­ment and legs weren’t the same as the open­ing four.

“When you say you have a cold peo­ple will think you are moan­ing about man flu.

“How­ever it af­fects peo­ple nor­mally so just imag­ine how it af­fects some­one try­ing to per­form at their very peak level.

“For the first four rounds I could go on that nat­u­ral fit­ness.

“How­ever as soon as I started to go into those re­serves and that ex­tra level to step up I just didn’t have it.

“The first four rounds were fast-paced and there was a lot of move­ment which maybe took it out of my legs a bit quicker.”

A for­mer world kick­box­ing cham­pion at mul­ti­ple weights, Suther­land se­cured his first ti­tle in box­ing when he won the Box­ing Union of Ire­land Celtic wel­ter­weight ti­tle in May.

And Suther­land re­turned to the venue where he claimed that debut belt.

He faced a tricky op­po­nent in Pu­plauskas who, de­spite los­ing 27 times and winning only six, has pre­vi­ously gone the dis­tance with reign­ing Bri­tish and Com­mon­wealth cham­pion Chris Jenk­ins.

Suther­land said: “Over­all it was a good per­for­mance over six rounds against some­one who was re­ally tough.

“I got to try dif­fer­ent things and I will go back into the gym to con­tinue to work to­wards big­ger and bet­ter things.

“You can see why he has only been stopped once.

“I thought I had him in the third or fourth round as I was ham­mer­ing him.

“I just needed an ex­tra 30 sec­onds in each round to get him.

“How­ever fair play to him as he was tough and durable.”

Suther­land (10st 11lb) landed clean shots in the early rounds and a left over the top rocked the Lithua­nian in the third.

He caught him with a fast left-right in the next round and was grind­ing down his op­po­nent.

In the fifth round a left jab breached Pu­plauskas’ in­creas­ingly por­ous de­fence but he could not find the knock­out punch.

The Lithua­nian ral­lied late on to edge the sixth round as the ill­ness be­gan to take its af­fect.

Suther­land, who plans to box again as early as Jan­uary, said: “The crowd was ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic and it was great to get a win in front of them.”

● Lee McGre­gor in­sists he is happy to do it all over again with Kash Fa­rooq after his con­tro­ver­sial uni­fi­ca­tion tri­umph in Glas­gow.

The Com­mon­wealth ban­tamweight cham­pion from Ed­in­burgh claimed a split de­ci­sion win over his Glas­gow ri­val to rip away Fa­rooq’s Bri­tish crown.

But it was a ver­dict that stunned the home fighter’s faith­ful among the 1,800-strong crowd at the Emi­rates Arena who thought their man had clearly won.

The re­sult is cer­tain to spark de­mands for a re­match and McGre­gor says he is open to it.

“I’m open to any­thing. “What­ever my man­age­ment say, I’m ready for it. But I’ve made it clear I’m fear­less and will fight any­body,” the 22-year-old said.

“That fight was an ab­so­lute barn-burner so I think we might see it again.”

Fa­rooq’s camp could barely hide their dis­be­lief as the judges’ scores of 114-113, 113-114, 115-112 were read out.

Ian McLeod – one of the 23-year-old’s man­age­ment team – lashed out at the ver­dict, say­ing: “Kash per­formed the fight of his life but was then robbed.

“There’s no point beat­ing about the bush here, that’s a rob­bery in any­one’s lan­guage.

“He was all around the bet­ter fighter. Lee McGre­gor fought a great fight but he got beat by the bet­ter fighter tonight – the only thing was that the pow­ers that be saw it a dif­fer­ent way.

“The watch­ing public saw it all and you can’t kid the public.”

 ??  ??
 ?? Pho­to­graphs by Chris Sum­ner ?? TOP FORM: Deadly Dean Suther­land lands a strong right on his op­po­nent Edv­inas Pu­plauskas of Lithua­nia – de­spite fight­ing a cold.
Pho­to­graphs by Chris Sum­ner TOP FORM: Deadly Dean Suther­land lands a strong right on his op­po­nent Edv­inas Pu­plauskas of Lithua­nia – de­spite fight­ing a cold.
 ??  ?? Dean Suther­land is thrilled after his points vic­tory
Dean Suther­land is thrilled after his points vic­tory

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