MEMBERS of a boxing club have successfully returned to the ring in Dumbarton for their first match since the start of the pandemic.
Antonine Boxing Club members left for Dumbarton FC just before Christmas to take part in their first home show featuring two boxers representing areas in Dumbarton and the Vale.
Proud coach James Hilton said the boys trained hard leading up to this event.
James told the Reporter: “The club started in the Antonine Center before we had to find our own space, and are now in a brilliant gym curated by the members in Clydebank.
“We moved to the gym in January 2020 before we had to close due to the pandemic. We continued our sessions via Zoom and outside before we were allowed to go back into the gym.
“This is also our first competitive season, affiliated with Boxing Scotland under Sports Scotland.
“It was great to be able to do a home show just before the Christmas holidays. The Dumbarton FC hospitality suite was a great venue for the show. We had 12 fights and one exhibition that night.”
To kick off the evening, two budding boxers Curtis Bartley and Jack McCrae put on an in-ring exhibition showcasing their outstanding skills.
In the third round, Aidan Madden, of Alexandria, got off to a good start in his ring debut, pushing the light heavyweight back to the ropes throughout the first round.
As is often the case in the heavier divisions, one punch can often change the course of a match. Aidan was stunned with a big overhand right. In the second round, it became clear that Aidan had not fully recovered from the previous punch, so the referee stopped the fight early.
However, he is already back in the gym and looking forward to his next challenge.
Towards the end of the competition, Neil Eaddie, who represented Balloch, entered the ring for his fight in which he put on a perfect boxing show, with his slick left-handed style peppering his opponent with stiff straight punches. His smooth footwork and ‘hit and ‘don’t get hit’ technique allowed the judges to give him a unanimous decision.
James added: “The boxers have stayed with us through the turmoil of the lockdown and then uncertainty about what happened.
“The coaches and committee members are releasing their time week after week, so being able to host a show and the end of this two-year rollercoaster made us all extremely proud.”
For more information or to enter, search for Antonine Boxing on Facebook.