It was a raucous atmosphere at the Doubletree Hilton in Aberdeen for the the Northern Sporting Club show in a joint promotion with Sam Kynoch which had 5 bouts on offer.Topping the bill was Dean Sutherland fighting for his first title, the BUI Celtic strap against Dubliner Keane McMahon. With both fighters undefeated there had been a lot of big talk from McMahon prior to the bout with Dean taking a more dignified approach and preferring to do his talking in the ring. The problem for the Irishman was that when Sutherland did let his fists do his talking, he delivered every word loud and clear!
McMahon attempted to start quickly but Sutherland soon worked out his range, using his footwork to great effect he was in and out and using some blurring hand-speed to land impressive point scoringp nches. This was not a one-sided contest however and McMahon was giving as good as he got at times and getting through with a spiteful looking jab. At the half way point McMahon knew he was behind and one look at his bloodied face told the same story. He upped his game in the 2nd half of the fight and in particular had a good 5th round managing to start marking Sutherland’s right eye up. In the closing 2 rounds they basically went at each other in a terrific war which displayed both the skill and aggression of 2 very good fighters. Sutherland’s face was a mask of blood in the eighth round but he did not stop coming forward and started to land some great uppercuts. With the roof almost coming off the venue at the end the partisan crowd applauded both fighters and then exploded as Sutherland was deservedly awarded the victory 78.74. This would appear to only be the start for Sutherland as he continues to impress more and more with each outing.
In the chief supporting contest Billy Stuart was another who was fighting for his first title and again it was the BUI Celtic Title up for grabs at super-bantamweight against teak tough Dylan McDonagh. Stuart was controlling the opening round with his jab and looking for his trademark left hook to the body. They started to trade blows in the 2nd but the sharper, crisper blows were coming from the home fighter. Into the 3rd and McDonagh upped his game and it was clear this was turning into another war. The pace was frenetic and you had to wonder if they could keep it going at this level. However, keep it going they did and the remainder of the contest was non stop action with both men exhausted at the end of it. It was Stuart who claimed the title and he sank to his knees as the scores were read out to declare him the victor 77.75.
Callum Stuart was making his debut against the veteran Casey Blair in a super–welterweight clash over four rounds. Blair was intent on holding and trying to spoil the fight which earned him a warning from the referee. When Stuart was allowed to work, he showed his class with some flashy combinations which just made Blair come in close again to try and smother his work. The fight was scrappy at times but Stuart ran out a comfortable winner with the bout scored 40.36 in his favour.
Corey McCulloch was also making his professional debut against Jordan Grannum over 4 rounds at middleweight. Boxing on the front foot he threw sharp punches but Grannum is tough and has never been stopped so this fight was destined to go the distance. Caught in the 2nd McCulloch was bleeding from the nose but was still making sure he was coming forward. As both boxers tired into the last round it was McCulloch who ensured he had done enough and was awarded the victory 39.37. Corey will have learnt a lot from this fight, particularly around pacing the rounds and will no doubt push on from here.
In the opening bout of the evening Andy Smart was up against Gary McGuire in a 4-round welterweight contest. “The Captain” was busy with his jab and body punches and more often than not had McGuire boxed into a corner. As the fight wore on, they traded leather but the heavier shots were coming from Smart as he controlled the fight to be awarded a 39.37 victory.
So two incredible title fights and all home fighters winning meant it was all in all a fantastic night and the best atmosphere I have witnessed at a Northern Sporting Club show, the collaboration between them and Sam Kynoch will no doubt continue to grow and on this evidence they could even need a bigger venue shortly as the clamour for tickets after this showing should be huge.
Photo credit: Thefightingirish.ie and Kynoch Boxing