By: Andrew Sutherland (@BigAndySuths)
MGM Scotland returned to the nations capital on Saturday night for their fourth card at Meadowbank. “Collision Course”, headlined by Iain Butcher in his lively flyweight contest against Cameroon’s Thomas Essomba.
Lochend’s Brian Forsyth (4-0-1) kicked off the nights action in a light-heavyweight bout over 4 x 3 minute rounds. Forsyth controlled the action, cutting the ring down to land left and right hooks to his opponents midsection at will, before going on to be awarded the victory by a score of 40/36. Forsyth looked vastly improved since his last outing in March and will hope to carry the momentum to his next bout on 21st May in Grangemouth against the durable Curtis Gargano, who was also in action on Saturday against the popular Tommy “Gun” Philbin.
Tommy Philbin came out firing on all cylinders, bloodying Gargano’s nose in the opening round. In round 2, the home fighter mixed things up by working off the jab wonderfully and showing his boxing skills before bringing lethal uppercuts into the equation and giving his opponent plenty to think about. Middleton’s Gargano played his part in making it an entertaining match up as he came out in the third round with the intention of reeling Philbin in with some textbook showboating. Philbin silenced Gorgano’s cries of “Woo!” with a crunching right hook just before the bell and continued in the same vain in the 4th and final round before having his hand raised, with the referee scoring the contest 40-36.
John Thain (15-2-0) entered the ring at welterweight in a fresh pursuit for major titles at a new weight against well respected and well seasoned William Warburton. The Edinburgh boxer put in just the sort of performance that his fans have become accustomed to, utilising his piston like jab to slow down his opponent and working off the jab at range. Whilst Warburton held on, Thain won every one of the six rounds.
“It was good to get the rounds in the bag.” Thain told First Class Boxing. “William Warburton is definitely a tricky opponent so it was tough to land clean shots but I felt very strong.” I’m definitely looking at the champions of the division, I think British Champion Bradley Skeete is definitely a fight we can make with my management and I would grab the opportunity with both hands.
Newtongrange’s lightweight Stephen Tiffney (5-0-0) was next in the ring for his 4×3 minute bout against Joe Beeden. Tiffney, who’s large support were as noisy as ever put in a classy performance, switching from an orthodox stance to southpaw throughout the fight mixed it up well between body and head, landing combinations of hooks and uppercuts before getting out of range of any of Beedan’s responses. His opponent seemed to tire and towards the end of the fight looked to clinch at every opportunity much to Tiffney’s frustration, but this didn’t stop the man who has been dubbed “The Scottish Canelo” landing a cracking overhand right which shook his opponent to his boots. Looking back on the fight after his Mexican counterpart ended his fight with Amir Khan with the same punch, it seems the nickname could not be more apt.
“My right hand was landing good. I knew his jab was getting a wee bit lazy, so I was timing the right hand and I felt a couple of them did hurt him. It’s good to get another win.”
Tiffney’s stablemate Lewis “Kid Caramel” Benson (6-0-0) won every one of the four rounds in his battle against the tough Fonz Alexander. Benson, who has been busy since the turn of the year put in a good performance that saw Terry McCormack’s charge landing a great selection of shots, most notably and frequently solid right hands with left hooks that followed.
“It was a good performance against a big strong guy who came to give it a go, but I felt good in there. I stuck to my corners instructions and done the damage! He was very tough and that’s the sort of guys I need, ones that come and give it a go. He’s not the sort that clams up and I like that, big respect to him, he brought out the best in me. I’m back out in September but I’ll be ready before then so whenever the phone goes.”
The penultimate fight of the night featured Craigmillar’s Jason Easton (6-0-0) against Nathan Hardy in a six round contest that had Easton’s noisy support on their feet for the duration. His opponent, Hardy, was a novice of only one fight, but it was one that he won via KO and certainly travelled north with no intention of losing his unblemished record.
The action began with Easton landing viscous right hooks to the body and head of a hardy in the opener and continuing in to the second and third round in similar fashion. Hardy however did not let the solid shots take the wind out of his sails and he kept coming forward andy meeting Easton in the centre of the ring. Easton showed great ring craft and through everything at Hardy in the fourth. Hardy was perhaps showing signs of the punches taking their toll as he fell to his knee in the fourth, with the referee correctly deeming it a slip.
Easton perhaps took his foot off the gas a little in the 5th round as he was cruising to a comfortable points victory, before turning up the heat in the 6th and final round in what was a ferocious encounter. Both men were given a standing ovation by the crowd which was certainly was a worthy chief support to the main event.
Also in action on the undercard were Livingston’s Thomas Dickson who by a comfortable margin of 40-36 against Youssef Al Hamidi moving the likeable Scot to 4-0 as a pro: ALeo Edinburgh’s Lee Redpath won by the same margin to improve his record to 5-0.by