Berwickshire’s new Scottish featherweight champion Lewis Paulin insists justice was done as he unanimously defeated Stephen Tiffney to secure the first professional title of his career.
The contest at the Paisley Lagoon Centre on Saturday night had been thrown into doubt following Friday’s weigh-in, after Tiffney exceeded the championship weight of nine stone by 2lbs.
However, after both parties reached an agreement that the fight should go ahead as planned, it was Paulin who took full advantage in what was a captivating 10 rounds from the former Meadowbank amateur, winning 98-92.
Having failed to make the weight, MTK fighter Tiffney knew he couldn’t be crowned Scottish champion this weekend, even if he had been successful.
But it was 27-year-old Paulin who landed the cleaner shots to win his first belt.
“Tiff is a very good fighter so it gave me the chance to show just how good I can be as well,” Paulin explained.
“I think he brought the best out in me. Tiff was the big favourite and I was the underdog but I knew I was capable of beating him. I think a lot of people were quite naive.
“He had everything on me. I definitely feel like justice has been done, given what happened before the fight.
“I respect Tiff and I think he will go on to bigger things. He came in and congratulated me in the changing room afterwards, so I respect him a lot for that.
“But I think the way everything that has been handled by his management team has been a disgrace. He failed to make the weight, they’ve disrespected the Scottish title by looking at the bigger picture, which is really unprofessional, but it makes my win even more sweet. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. I think this will switch everything around. It will put me in the top 10 in Britain now and I’ll be in line for one of the major titles.
“Folk will respect me a lot more, as that was my first real big fight and I’ve proved myself.
“He made it a war as it was action-packed all the way through – we were both proper going for it. I had a huge support, though, so the crowd was going mental.”
Paulin says victory on Saturday night was the perfect early Christmas present and he is now looking forward to a more lucrative 2018.
“It’s the perfect way to end the year, so I’m really excited to see what next year will bring. It was said before Saturday’s fight that both me and Tiff were above Scottish level and I still believe that. I’ve got the bragging rights in the city, so let’s see what opportunities lie ahead,” he added.
Tiffney said: “I thought the fight was a lot closer than the ref’s card and some people thought I had done enough,. There was a lot that happened through my training camp and it didn’t go to plan. I take nothing away from Lewis, though – he gave me a tough night.
“People who know me know that wasn’t me in there. I will take some time out over Christmas and new year, then go again. This will only make me want to come back stronger.”
MTK Scotland’s Sam Kynoch is keen to book a rematch between the pair as soon as possible in the new year.
“We’ll soon make a plan of action for 2018 and I would like to see a rematch with Paulin. I think there would be demand from the fans and I am sure both boxers would also be willing to get it on again.”
Meanwhile, welterweight Lewis Benson registered the 10th victory of his pro career with a straightforward win over Nicaragua’s Michael Isaac Carrero.
The capital fighter was scheduled to fight compatriot and the more experienced Marcos Mojica but he called off at the last minute.