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Lochaber Phoenix Boxing Club sent two of their boxers to the Scottish Intermediate Championships in Ravenscraig last weekend and both boxed with distinction.
These championships are for boxers who are beyond novice level but not yet at open/elite level and they are an invaluable learning tool.
Light heavyweight Nathan McDade faced a strong opponent in his semi-final on Saturday against Inverness’s Stephen Munro.
The heavily muscled Munro was an imposing figure but McDade boxed cleverly to keep his opponent at the end of his jab, utilising good head movement before and after his attacks.
While boxing conservatively, McDade showed enough ring nous to control the bout from ring centre behind his dominant lead hand.
Munro tried to press the action but McDade kept the centre of the ring for the duration of the contest and ran out a worthy winner.
His final the next day was against Corey McCulloch of the 1320 club. McCulloch was another aggressive opponent but had a bit more variety to his work switching cleverly from head to body with fast bent arm shots while McDade elected to head hunt for the majority of the bout.
Again McDade’s jab was a feature of the contest as he attempted to set everything up off it, while McCulloch continued to set a quick pace with bursts of hooks.
It was apparent that with boxing being a subjective sport the decision would come down to whether the judges preferred the accurate but relative lower punch output of the Lochaber boxer or the high tempo but wilder work of the fighter from Arbroath.
Unfortunately for the local club the verdict went to McCulloch by the closest of margins with three judges voting for him and only two siding with McDade.
However, this was a great learning curve for McDade and he will have benefited greatly from the weekend.
The other Lochaber fighter in action at the event was welterweight Dawid Jarzab, who contested his semi-final on the Sunday when he boxed Priestfield’s Kevin Duris.
Duris had won his quarter-final by knockout and was known as a big hitter.
Jarzab in truth did not incorporate the cleverest of tactics by electing to spend a lot of time with his back to the ropes which was basically an invite to Duris to attack.
This led to a very exciting contest as Jarzab fired quick combinations whilst Duris threw his single bombs.
During the entire contest Jarzab only attempted to force Duris backwards on a couple of occasions and each time showed dominance.
This made it all the stranger that Jarzab didn’t pursue these tactics. He still claimed the points victory, but in a manner that was a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
Jarzab’s final takes place this Saturday at Bridgeton in Glasgow