Chirnside club punching above their weight in first competitive season

Young award winners at Chirnside Am Boxing clubs presentation night: Ben Grant (left) was presented best trainer while Lewis Noon (right) was awarded a double with the best junior trophy, and the Eric Hunter memorial sheild for most improved
Young award winners at Chirnside Am Boxing clubs presentation night: Ben Grant (left) was presented best trainer while Lewis Noon (right) was awarded a double with the best junior trophy, and the Eric Hunter memorial sheild for most improved

Chirnside Boxing Club rounded off a knock-out first season back in the ring with their presentation night at the Robins Nest last Saturday.

The legendary Chirnside club was resurrected in 2008 by ex boxers and former members Michael Black, Martin Wood, Vaughan Williams, Michael Blaikie, Malcolm Renton and Fenwick Cummings, with Ian Black and David Jeffery reprising their roles as secretary and treasurer.

Referee Derek Cannon (left) presents Mark Watson (right) with the trophy for 'Best Senior' at Chirnside boxing clubs awards evening

Referee Derek Cannon (left) presents Mark Watson (right) with the trophy for 'Best Senior' at Chirnside boxing clubs awards evening

And following affiliation to Amateur Boxing Scotland last October, the club, which currently has nine registered boxers, is fast becoming a heavy-weight contender in the world of amateur boxing.

Their first competitive season was celebrated at the well-attended presentation night, hosted by Club sponsors The Robins Nest. Derek Cannon, Amateur Boxing Scotland judge and referee from Midlothian ABC, presented the awards.

Mark Watson - the only senior boxer with a 100 per cent fight record at the time of the presentation – was named the Best Senior. Mark won exciting bouts in Penicuik in November and Haddington in February against worthy opponent, East Lothian’ ABC’s Alan Cockburn.

The trophy for best junior boxer was presented to Berwick’s Lewis Noon, again the only junior with a one hundred percent record throughout the season. Lewis firmly asserted himself as ‘one to watch’ back in April, when he gave an explosive account of himself in just his second fight to date, stopping his opponent C Docherty in the first round at the Hillpark ABC show in Bannockburn. Lewis was also awarded the Eric Hunter Memorial, a special award for the most improved boxer in memory of former Club coach, the late Eric Hunter. The award was presented to Lewis by Eric’s wife, Jean Hunter.

The final award went to junior boxer Ben Grant, who was named Best Trainer for the season. Ben has worked tirelessly at training throughout the season and is more than ready for his ring debut, showing his potential recently in an exhibition bout at the Hawick ABC show.

Club chairman Michael Black said the trophies had gone to worthy winners. “Mark has been with us right from the start and he was the only senior boxer to have a hundred per cent winning record,” he explained. “Lewis is very dedicated, he doesn’t miss many sessions and I think he does some training at home too. He’s got great potential.

“Ben won the best trainer award - he’s been waiting so long for a fight and the chance has never come for him, but he showed great potential in his exhibition bout at Hawick.”

He added: “The club wish to thank Derek Cannon for coming to Chirnside to present the trophies/shields, and also to Jean Hunter for presenting the Eric Hunter memorial trophy - without the former club, and the work that Eric and Jean put in, we never would have been in the situation that we are now.

“It’s great to keep the legacy going and give something back to the village.”

Michael is hoping the Club can build on the success of its first competitive spell, and hopes to get more boxers matched up for fights from September.

“Hopefully next season we can get more fights in so everyone’s on top of their fitness all the time,” he said. “It’s like football, you can train everyday but if you’re not getting the games you might not be match fit. We need to get the bouts in.”

The presentation night rounded off a busy first year back in the ring for the Chirnside Club, and with more boxers coming through the ranks, the future is looking bright. “We’ve had a good first season and we’re going to get more lads coming through and registered,” Michael said. “We’ve also started to talk about a club show, maybe in Berwick. We have to get clearance to go over the border to have a show but we’re looking into it. Apparently there was a show in Berwick in 1990 in the Bingo Hall, so it would be great to do something like that again.”

Having picked up his ‘best senior’ award at the presentation night, Mark was in action for Chirnside at the Hillpark ABC boxing show in Bannockburn on Sunday, hoping to make it three in three. Mark boxed well against the more experienced home boxer, Brendan Cusick, but struggled against the taller Cusick’s longer reach and just lost out on points over 3x two minute rounds.