Sparta boxing academy’s champion boxer Balaal Waheed is preparing to go senior after winning his warm-up bout for this month’s East District Championships at his club’s home show.
Waheed topped the bill at The Plough in Stenhousemuir recently, facing Crawford Campbell from Kilsyth Golden Gloves.
A third round stoppage gave the three-time Scottish champion, and reigning East District title holder the win, and he’s now got his sights on a Scottish title tilt in March next year.
The first round of the 64kg fight was a cagey affair. Both combatants were feinting and working behind their jabs. Waheed started to increase the volume of pressure and started to work the body of Campbell and the body shots took effect when the Kilsyth boxer noticably started to slow and lacked power in his punches.
Waheed sensed his opponent’s fatigue and piled on the pressure in round three. Waheed lined up the right hand with the jab and snapped Crawford’s head back for a standing eight count. He didn’t waste any time and then landed a triple right before the referee stopped the contest.
Head coach Sam McLeod said: “After the Eastern Districts Balaal will move into the senior ranks where he will box anyone from 18 and above. This is always a tough transition for any boxer but we will be working heavily on Balaal’s strength and conditioning and will be aiming for the senior Scottish in March 2020.”
READ MORE: Sparta five star performance at Easterns
Another of the Grangemouth club’s Scottish champions, Caine Dooley, boxed Sean McCafferty (Glasgow City) at 75kg and was awarded boxer of the night by the officials.
Dooley got off to a great start and frustrated his opposition by how elusive he was. Dooley landed a counter left hand from the southpaw stance on many occasions and used his feet to perfection by stepping in and out with two and three phase attacks. Caine continued to have success throughout the contest with the left uppercut and straight left hand. All judges were in favour of the winner. McLeod added: “Caine is one of the most natural gifted fighters I have come across. We are happy to have him dedicate his time to the sport again and fulfil his true potential. Our target is the Eastern districts then the senior Scottish title in March.”
Kaiden McGuire returned to the ring after a year out in England, and fought O’Neils’ Jordan Spence at 56kg.
McGuire did not disappoint, with a confident start and a relaxed performance throughout the contest with effective countering to Spence’s attacks.
A unanimous decision victory was awarded for McGuire who will join Dooley and Waheed at the Eastern District Championships at the end of the month.
Head coach Sam McLeod said: “Kaiden is such a dynamic boxer and very unorthodox. I’ve seen him frustrate top level fighters in sparring. He has a great boxing IQ. All he needs is more ring time now and I believe he can go all the way.”
Tamzen Quigley (12), Lindsay Gairns (22), Mark Thompson (28) and Ruairi Davidson (16) all lost on points decisions but all gave a good account of themselves.
Thomas O’Reilly (10) and Katie Fox (13) both boxed in exhibition bouts and put on a fantastic display of boxing.
READ MORE: Leo and Brodie make Sparta boxing history
Cub boxer Jordan Ford (10) kicked off the show with a non scoring contest before moving to competitive action in January and the Scottish championships in February.
William Retson (11) was lined up for a scoring contest against Aidan Aitken (McTaggart Scott) but due to a slight weight difference the officials put the bout on as a non scoring exhibition. The coaches agreed on a weight and Retson boxed Scott in a competitive bout on the following Sunday at the McTaggart show.
Peter Johnstone was awarded fight of the night with Gareth Brown (Declaration 1320) in a heavyweight contest. After a shaky start and a standing eight-count in the first, it looked like Johnstone would be stopped with a bad nose bleed but he turned it around in the second round with his left hand.
Both fighters exchanged heavy blows in the final round finishing the final 10 seconds in a punch out. The Sparta fighter edged the decision 3-2.
READ MORE: Sparta’s 2017 fight night