Report: on the ropes bring quality boxing to linwood, paisley. blood, sweat and stoppages.
There’s something beautiful about domestic boxing shows. They have everything: great dust-ups, local rivalries, rowdy crowds and exciting prospects testing their skills (and bottle) against experienced journeymen. I had the pleasure of attending On The Rope’s latest event, Unleashed, at Linwood’s On-X Centre on Saturday 11 March, and was not disappointed. Read the report below.
On The Ropes returned with their first show of 2017 on Saturday 11th March with a thrilling night of professional and semi-pro boxing. ‘Unleashed’ delivered seven action-packed bouts in front of busy crowd at Linwood’s On-X Centre.
Lanarkshire’s David Markey made an explosive start to the evening against Andy Peutherer, flooring then stopping his opponent with a barrage of powerful body shots in the opening round. Markey looked aggressive and predatory from the first bell, and will be fearless going into his next contest later in the year.
Stuart ‘Maxi’ Maxwell and James Darkes then put on an excellent display for the Celtic Title (Novice). The first round was tentative as Maxwell tried to get the measure of the tricky, elusive Darkes. The second brought greater success for Maxi who produced a number of powerful accurate shots to slow the Manchester man. Darkes looked increasingly affected by body shots, and his movement started to slow as the bout progressed. Maxi seized complete control by the third, flooring Darkes before stopping him with combinations to the head and body. He was crowned Celtic champion in front of a delighted home crowd. It was a mature performance by Maxwell who did well to stay patient, working out his opponent, before unleashing his shots.
Gary Wilson from Perth had an impressive debut victory over a tough Jamie Zazlos. Barnsley’s Zazlos started well with a number of sharp counters and his movement asked questions of Wilson. However, it didn’t take long for the physically imposing Wilson to take command of the ring, connecting with a number of brutal hooks to the body. Zazlos proved to be durable and awkward, switching from orthodox to southpaw throughout the fight, but was unable to match Wilson’s power. The man from Perth was relentless in the attack and became increasingly dominant as the bout went on. The fight was ended in the third after vicious combinations to the head and body of Zazlos. Wilson will take confidence from this encouraging performance and will be looking for big fights later in the year.
It was a disappointing evening for Coatbridge’s Ben McGivern who retired on his stool after the second round of his bout with James Higgy. McGivern displayed flashes of skill and power at the start of the contest, but was broken down and ultimately beaten by the fitter, stronger man on the night. McGivern’s corner made the sensible decision to stop the fight as their man faded, and Higgy looked increasingly confident and powerful. The gifted McGivern will no doubt be back in the ring later in the year to make amends.
Perth’s Adam Stewart, making his professional debut, put on arguably performance of the night against the more experienced Anthony Christopher from Wales. Stewart quickly established his rhythm and looked fit, sharp and accurate from the first bell. He floored Christopher with a swift, glancing uppercut and then caused further damage to the left eye soon after. Christopher was dropped again with a powerful hook, and the referee called a halt to proceedings after Stewart unleashed a flurry of punishing shots. The brave Christopher was disappointed with the decision, but looked dazed and battered. We look forward to seeing the promising Stewart again later in the year.
In the night’s penultimate contest, Paddy ‘Geezer’ Reilly scored a dominant points victory over Liverpool’s Billy Edgar. Fan favourite Reilly entered the ring confidently and quickly looked the busier, more powerful man. It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, as the experienced Edgar had some success with his jab. Edgar looked tricky and resilient, and appeared to frustrate Reilly at times with his defensive skills. However, the Airdrie man remained focused and started to assert himself with powerful hooks and combinations. Reilly looked fit and moved comfortably around the ring throughout the fight, throwing the more effective shots and winning each round. He caused heavy bleeding to Edgar’s nose with some strong punches in the closing stages and was declared unanimous winner. Another impressive victory for Reilly in only his second professional bout.
In the main event, Ginnie McGinnis marked his professional boxing debut with an emphatic stoppage victory over Manchester’s Tom Murry. McGinnis, an experienced kickboxer, looked utterly composed from the outset, picking his shots at will and landing with success. Murry attempted to move around the ring but was quickly cut off by McGinnis, who stalked his opponent. The contest came to an end after numerous body shots sent Murry crashing to the floor, winded in pain. McGinnis looks to have made a smooth transition to boxing and will be a real problem for anyone in his weight division.
Unleashed’s seven bouts had everything – blood, sweat and stoppages. There were fine displays of boxing skill and power, and we look forward to seeing the fighters later in the year. With several quality contests – and Stereofunk DJ’s keeping the party atmosphere throughout the night – On The Ropes again delivered value for money for boxing fans.