MGM Scotland ‘Rise of the Champions’ Show Round-Up

'Rise of the Champions'

‘Rise of the Champions’

By Andrew McCart (@Andy_FCBoxing)

MGM Scotland hosted their third show in Scotland’s capital on Saturday night and it was another fight card which didn’t disappoint.

Topping the bill was the exciting Stephen Tiffney who was up against the tough Chris Adaway.

The Newtongrange featherweight started the bout in usual style. Starting fast and landing accurate shots. Adaway did prove he was no pushover and did have his moments, but Tiffney was the one who was on the front foot and landing sharp fast combinations. The Scot was in control from start to finish, winning the bout 39-37. Although, it was difficult to see which round referee Victor Loughlin scored to Adaway.

“It’s another win.” Tiffney told FirstClassBoxing. “I was tired, but he was heavier and it’s good to get another win really.

“I knew he (Adaway) was going to be a test in only my fourth fight. So I’m happy with this win.”

Tiffney’s Lochend teammate Lewis Benson had an easier night to get to 4-0, after his opponent was unable to answer the bell for the second round. That being said Benson was just too good for his Bulgarian opponent and it looked like it was only a matter of time before the Edinburgh man got him out of there. But, it seemed Benson wasn’t happy with the way the fight ended.

“It’s not good really, I wanted to get some rounds under my belt.” Benson said. “My last two fights I’ve put them away in a round. I know I’m still at the bottom of the ladder, but I’m ready to step up if I’m being honest.

“The guys I see on TV, I’m ready for them now… I just need rounds. I’m going to do something in boxing, everybody knows that. I need stepped up.”

Livingston’s Thomas Dickson boxed well against the always tough and durable Qasim Hussain. Dickson started fast and showed some sharp combinations to the head and body. Some showboating from Hussain in the final round had Dickson’s fans on their feet, but it turned out to be an easy victory for the Scotsman. With a score of 40-36.

“You’ve got to be mature and relaxed.” Dickson said about Hussain’s showboating. “He tried to goad me in, but I didn’t take the bait. I just boxed him and enjoyed the atmosphere.”

Tommy Philbin put on another great performance as he moved to 3-0 with an easy points victory over Mitch Mitchell.

Philbin had only faced Mitchell a few months earlier on his debut. However, this time the Kirkliston fighter showed how much he is improving as a professional. Dropping Mitchell with sickening body shots in the first and final round en route to a comfortable 40-34 victory.

“I felt brilliant. I thought it was a great performance.” Said Philbin. “He kept trying to spoil by grabbing on to my legs every time I was hurting him, but overall I’m just really happy.

“I’m out again in eight weeks time and I’m going to be a lot lighter. This fight was at 13 stone and I shouldn’t be at 13 stone because I’m fighting bigger guys. I’m going to be a lot lighter and I’m looking forward to bigger and better things.”

The second bout of the evening was John Thain who was up against Chris Jenkinson. This was Thain’s first fight in six months and again it was the Scot’s piston like jab that won him the fight. Although Jenkinson had fleeting moments, Thain was never in any trouble, cruising to a points win. Now the always likeable Edinburgh fighter can push on and fight for titles.

“I’m in such a good place because I’ve got a good team behind me.” Thain told FirstClassBoxing. “I want to be British champion, Commonwealth champion, I want all the belts. I’m so hungry and I’ve got such a great team and I feel if we keep going on this road, we’re going to get there.”

Opening the show was Edinburgh’s Brian Forsyth against Englishman Andy Neylon. After a slow start Forsyth picked it up in the middle rounds and dropped Neylon twice in round three with solid hooks to the body. Neylon held on in the final round, handing Forsyth a 40-34 points victory and in the process improving his record to 3-0-1.

“It was a slow start, but my mind hasn’t been in it the last few weeks.” Said Forsyth. “I eventually picked it up and got my bearings, and I’m glad I did because I dropped him with two body shots. I was looking for the stoppage, but it didn’t come. I’m glad I put him down a couple times and everybody was happy with my performance. It’s a win and that’s all that matters.”

MGM Scotland’s next show will be on May 7 in Edinburgh and will feature Iain Butcher taking on Commonwealth flyweight champion Thomas Essomba from Cameroon.

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