Brodie Grant and Leo Jaye make Sparta boxing history

Sparta Boxing Academy has hailed the club’s first ever Scottish Champion – Brodie Grant.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 31st March 2019, 2:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st March 2019, 2:48 pm
Sparta Boxing Academy at the  Scottish Championships. Pictures: Ruairdh Braes / EINDP
Sparta Boxing Academy at the Scottish Championships. Pictures: Ruairdh Braes / EINDP

The Grangemouth gym sent boxers to the national championships, held over recent weekends in Ravenscraig at Motherwell.

And it was Grant who grabbed the headlines with the maiden victory for the club.

First he saw off Connor McPhee from Elgin in the semi final. McPhee started fast and tried to rush the Sparta boxer. This come forward style that McPhee adopted played right into Grant’s hands.

Sparta Boxing Academy at the Scottish Championships. Pictures: Ruairdh Braes / EINDP

Stylistically a counterpuncher, Brodie landed the check hook with precision and continued to land it frequently throughout the bout.

In the second round Grant landed a heavy right hand that burst the nose of McPhee. The referee stopped the contest twice so that the doctor could look at the injury and, although the bleeding was severe, the doctor let the bout continue for a points victory for Grant, by some margin.

Grant was forced to wait a week for Sunday’s final against Dennistoun McNair’s Kristopher Slowley and this time it was the Sparta fighter who started fast in the first round.

Grant rocked Slowley with a heavy straight right hand, left hook combination that snapped the Dennistoun boxers head back. The referee stepped in and Slowley received a standing eight count. Brodie continued the onslaught and rocked his opponent once more.

Sparta Boxing Academy at the Scottish Championships. Pictures: Ruairdh Braes / EINDP

In the second and third round Grant picked off his opponent with clean eye catching counter punches.

A 4-1 split decision crowned Brodie Grant Scottish champion, and in doing so is the first boxer from the Sparta gym in Grangemouth to win a Scottish Open Youth Title, backed by corner team of Martyn Reay, Vitali Cojocar and Gavin Crawford.

He’ll now head to the British competition in just over a month, fighting in Wales.

There were also high hopes for three-time champion Balaal Waheed in the youth section of the Scottish Open.

Sparta Boxing Academy at the Scottish Championships. Pictures: Ruairdh Braes / EINDP

He stepped down a weight to challenge for the 60kg title and drew Robert Hewitt (Southside) in the semi-final.

Waheed got off to a slow start in the first round. Not much was landing by either fighter in the first round but the Southside boxer nicked the round by being a bit busier and throwing more punches. A step up in pace in the second round started to make Hewitt miss and Waheed countered effectively with the one-two combination.

In the third round Balaal found his distance and started to time his counter shots perfectly. He kept it simple and would step back from the Southside boxer’s fatigued attack and then counter with precision. What looked to be two rounds out of three for Waheed ended up a split decision in favour of Hewitt who went on to win the final.

Sparta coach Sam McLeod said: “It was a tough one to take as we felt along with everyone that watched the bout that Balaal won the contest. It’s not the first time this has happened to us and it won’t be the last unfortunately.”

Meanwhile Schoolboy/girl boxers William Retson, Codie Robertson, Jamie Crawford, Madison Clarkson, Shane Scott all won silver medals for the club and put on great performances – just missing out on golds.

Leo Jaye boxed Connor McCafferty (Argo) in the final of the 59kg 2006 Schoolboy category. The Argo boxer started fast and aimed to pressure Leo. It was clear their plan was to try and throw the Sparta boxer off his rhythm and to make it a dog fight. Leo kept composed and sidestepped his attacking opponent using tactics and skill.

Leo began working the body. He threw the jab to the body then straight right to the head. This combination started to break down McCafferty and you could see a sudden shift occurring. Leo slipped outside and inside of his opponent’s attack then countered with a heavy left hook. This shook McCafferty to his boots. McCafferty stumbled back and the referee stepped in and waved off the bout. Leo made history for the club and became a two time Scottish Open Schoolboy Champion.

Next up for Leo will be the GB’s in June.

Thomas O’Reilly boxed Robbie Gorn of Rosyth in the semi final of the 34kg 2008 Schoolboy category.

O’Reilly controlled the centre of the ring throughout and maintained a high volume punch output to win by unanimous decision.

Thomas then boxed Max Sleith (Keir Hardie) in the final but took home another silver for the club.

Sam McLeod added: “We watched Max Sleith in his semi-final to figure out a game plan. Max stopped his opponent in round two and looked to be a good young boxer, comfortable at his own pace.

“We knew Thomas had to set the pace and begin his attacks to the body then finish his combinations to the head. We drilled the plan into Thomas and he went out and executed it perfectly however he lost the bout on a 3-2 split decision.

“We couldn’t see a round in which Thomas lost but unfortunately the politics of boxing struck hard on the day.”

Sparta is based at Station Road in the town.