By Andrew McCart (@Andy_FCBoxing)
On September 5 MGM Scotland and promoter Sam Kynoch will host their second professional boxing show in Edinburgh, at the Meadowbank Sports Centre.
MGM Scotland held their inaugural show in Glasgow back in June, and promoter Sam Kynoch was happy with the the way things went. “I thought it went really well, I was delighted with it… We got good feedback from the boxers and the fans themselves.” But now it’s a short drive along the M8 motorway to Scotland’s capital. A city which has been starved of professional boxing events like this, since the days of Alex Arthur and Kynoch promises this is just the start of things to come for the city of Edinburgh.
“We’ve got a long term commitment in Edinburgh. I’ve already got an event booked in Edinburgh for December. So, it will be one more before the end of the year, then looking into next year we’ll do at least four events in Edinburgh.
“I’m obviously Glasgow based, but we’re very much Edinburgh and Glasgow. We’ll give equal time and effort in to each.
“We’ve got guys there in Edinburgh and we really want the Edinburgh boys fighting in Edinburgh and vice versa for the Glasgow boys. It is good to mix it up the odd time. For instance John Thain boxed on the Glasgow bill. It’s good to expose the guys to different markets, but on the whole we’ll want guys boxing in their home town… Obviously we’ve got big Stephen Simmons boxing on the show and it’s his first pro fight in Edinburgh. Which I think is crazy. We’re looking to get guys like him more and more exposure in Edinburgh.”
The event will not only showcase some of Scotland’s already established fighters in Stephen Simmons, John Thain and David Brophy. It will also feature three of Edinburgh’s standout amateurs given their professional debuts – Lewis Benson, Tommy Philbin and Stephen Tiffney. All three box out of Lochend BC and all of whom claimed Scottish amateur titles this year and Kynoch had this to say about the three debutants…
“Benson had 100 amateur contests, won four Scottish titles and one British title. He is a highly accomplished amateur. Benson is a really technical boxer and people find him very deceptive with his range. So, I really expect him to do well. Him and all the guys at Lochend have mixed up their training to come into the pro’s with a different approach. Benson is also a well known character, he’s got his nickname ‘Kid Caramel’. So he’s really good at marketing himself and putting himself out there and I think that’s great.
“Then we’ve got Tommy Philbin who won the Scottish at 91kg (Heavyweight). Previously he had campaigned at 81kg and 75kg before. He’s going to drop down to super middleweight in the pro’s and I think he will be a formidable force at that weight. Particularly with having that natural size. Stylistically he’s just built for the pro’s. As an amateur I believe he boxed Callum Smith twice and Smith is flying high as a professional at the weight category. We’ll be looking to move him on quickly.
“Stephen Tiffney won the Scottish lightweight championship at 60kg, but will box at featherweight as a professional. I think at that weight he’ll be a good solid pro. Stephen is the one I’ve seen least of, because I haven’t seen him spar, but I know he’s had some really good bouts as an amateur and I’ve got high hopes for him. At a lighter weight like featherweight, I really think we can do something a little bit quicker. So, we’ll be looking to move him on once we get him on to his stride.”
Kynoch went on to say the fans can expect something different on September 5 and with the boxers on the card, it’s going to be an exciting night of boxing in Scotland’s capital.
“We’re looking for our events to be different from other professional events. Where it’s often just a ring in the middle of a hall and that’s it, we’ll have the arena done up nicely and there will be an element of production there. The guys will have their own entrance music. In terms of crowd numbers we’re going to be at absolute capacity. There has been a huge demand for tickets. So we will have excess of a thousand people there. Which will make for a good atmosphere.”
“Another thing is we’re looking to promote Edinburgh boxing. Obviously our priority is MGM boxers, but we’ve got other guys on the bill who aren’t managed by MGM. Scottish boxing for a long time has had promoters and managers who don’t work together and that means the sport stagnates and people don’t really test themselves. We’ve got an open policy. We’re willing to work with other promoters to build our guys up, but also when the time is right, there are a few natural match ups that we want to make to get our guys tested.”by