Dad and daughter on same boxing bill

Michael Black, 36, and daughter Cailtin, 11, will both be boxing at the Chirnside club show in Duns on Sunday.
Michael Black, 36, and daughter Cailtin, 11, will both be boxing at the Chirnside club show in Duns on Sunday.

A father and daughter will both be lining up in the same boxing show in Duns this weekend.

Chirnside’s Michael Black is coming out of retirement to box again at the age of 36, but he might well be more nervous about 11-year-old daughter Caitlin’s debut inside the ring.

Both are scheduled to appear on a busy card of 15 bouts at the Volunteer Hall in Duns on Sunday, when Chirnisde Amateur Boxing Club hosts its second show of the year.

Most of the tickets have been sold, meaning a crowd of 350 is expected to watch 14 Chirnside boxers in action.

Caitlin will be cheered on by her parents, grandparents, seven-year-old brother and her clubmates when she takes to the ring.

The schoolgirl’s boxing debut will come one week after winning gold at the Scottish Judo Championships.

“Caitlin is boxing a girl from Broxburn Boxing Club,” explained dad Michael. “At the moment we only know of three other girls in Scotland at her age and weight who are boxing. The other two are from Glasgow and Stranraer.

“That means it’s difficult to find someone for her to fight because there are not many of them in Scotland.”

Caitlin was supposed to participate in an exhibition bout against a 15-year-old girl just over a month ago, but the officials would not allow it to take place.

“An exhibition is just like a sparring session,” explained Michael. “Both clubs were comfortable, but the officials would not allow it to go ahead. So Sunday will officially be her first fight in a proper boxing ring.

“You don’t get much out of her. She’s quite a laid-back girl. She got involved in boxing training last year when the club received a grant for new equipment.

“She started coming to proper training on and off. We got in the sparring ring one time and I was quite impressed with her movement around the ring.”

While Caitlin makes her debut, fighting in an official contest for the first time after becoming a registered boxer at the start of this season, dad Michael will be also be making his comeback.

He hung up his gloves last summer because, at 35, he had reached the age limit for amateur boxing in Scotland.

But now that the limit has been extended to 40, the club coach, now 36, has been back in full training this season and is ready to get back in the ring himself.

“Hopefully, from this I’ll get another bout before Christmas,” he said. “I want to keep it going.”

He will be making his official comeback on Sunday, but a lot of his attention on the day will also be on his daughter.

“Other people have been coaching Caitlin,” he said. “Up until the start of this season I was coaching at the club as well. But now I’m busy in full time training myself.

“We’re hoping to share out the corner duties among the coaches, but I’d like to think I’ll be in Caitlin’s corner.”

The club has 14 of its 15 registered boxers in action on Sunday, with Marcus Owtram, 16, and Mark Tully, 25, also making their debuts.