Fireworks at Sparta’s hometown fight night in Grangemouth Town Hall

Sparta Boxing Academy hosted another show, this time at the club’s hometown in Grangemouth Town Hall.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 13th June 2019, 2:19 pm
Pictures: / Ruairidh Braes
Pictures: / Ruairidh Braes

There wasn’t far to travel for the boxers who train a few yards along the road at the Station Road gym.

But those who made the short trip along were treated to fireworks in the ring – and literally out of it too.

As well as the in-ring action the club handed out its annual awards with boxer of the season going to Leo Jaye. Shane Scott was most improved boxer and cub fighter of the season was Jordan Ford.

Pictures: / Ruairidh Braes

The fight of the night award was also handed out to Balaal Waheed versus Ewan Hamilton, which topped the bill on the June 1 show.

Waheed, the three time Scottish champion and Eastern District Champion, represented the Grangemouth gym against his opponent from Northwest ABC and the bout started off as a cagey testing strategic opening.

Both boxers clearly respected the other’s technical ability but in the second round Waheed started to press the action and forced Hamilton into a few mistakes.

In the final round Waheed stood toe to toe with the Northwest boxer and ripped in some heavy shots to the body which forced Hamilton back onto the ropes.

Pictures: / Ruairidh Braes

Both boxers traded shots in the final few seconds and drew the crowd to their feet. Balaal was awarded all three rounds and the win by unanimous decision.

Sparta headcoach Sam McLeod said: “Balaal is very tall for the weight. He controls distance well and has a very elusive style. He feints a lot which is a deceptive move that triggers his opponent to react.

“Balaal was effective at this throughout the whole bout and was able to counterpunch Hamilton effectively after his feints.”

The co-main event was a heavyweight senior contest between Peter Johnstone and Scott Watson from Arbroath.

Pictures: / Ruairidh Braes

The 18-year-old local representative entered the ring having got off to a great start in April when he debuted at Sparta’s other event at the Plough and stopped his opponent in the second round.

Johnstone maintained his winning record Saturday night and stopped Watson in the third round.

Sam McLeod added: “Pete has the potential to be a dominant force in the heavyweight amateur scene over the years to come as he’s only just turned senior.

“At 18 years old Pete still has a lot of development and filling out to do. He’s already stopping his opponents so with the correct guidance and coaching I can see him becoming the heavyweight Scottish champion within a couple of years.”

Pictures: / Ruairidh Braes

The event organiser and gym head coach McLeod went on “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that came out last Saturday night to support Sparta at the Grangemouth Town Hall.

“It was a tough and competitive night of boxing. Exactly as I promised it would be. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. Every boxer was given a tough test and fought really hard. I also want to thank everyone that sponsored a bout, to the officials and clubs that attended the event and to Sparta’s coaching staff Vitali Cojocar, Gavin Crawford, Biagio Falcone and Jamie McOustra.”

Sparta’s last outing of the season will be in Glasgow on the O’Neil’s show with schoolboy boxer Jamie Crawford.

After the success of the last two fight nights, Sparta are already organising the next. Plans are underway for another show at the Plough, Stenhousemuir. Tickets for the event, on Friday, September 20, can be obtained from the gym in Station Road.