Sucker punch from Championship judges doesn’t floor Zetland boxer

Danas lands a blow on his opponent at Ravenscraig
Danas lands a blow on his opponent at Ravenscraig

Danas Gelumbekas looks to have come of age in boxing terms, having won the Eastern District title and can count himself extremely unlucky not to have progressed to the Scottish Intermediate Championships final.

Gelumbekas, a pupil at St Mungos High School, was eliminated in the semi final of this years championships, because of a quirk in the most up-to-date version of the computer scoring system from the world governing body the AIBA.

The Zetland teenager got off to a great start boxing behind his long left, against Thomas Douglas from the Chirnside Club. It really was boxing at its best at times as Gelumbekas put in the round of his life so far, landing at will with long lefts and rights and using the ring with class beyond his years and ring experience.

However, this years 69 Kg Intermediate Youth category was bursting with talent, including Danas’ semi final and final opponents from the East Championships. And the addition of Douglas from Chirnside made this a championship category worth the ticket price alone!

Indeed, the Chirnside youngster made a fight of it in round 2 following his corners instructions to the letter, putting Gelumbekas under pressure throughout, in an attempt to negate his reach advantage. Danas though battled hard here, using the short distance skills he’s been working with club coach Neil Hutchison.

The third round saw Gelumbekas regain his composure, thanks to instructions from head coach John Buist (who recently celebrated his 80th birthday) and boxed within his game plan, keeping the Chirnside boxer on the end of a variety of long combinations. However, Douglas pressed forward in an attempt to take control. Danas continued to use his fast combinations, and thrashed shots in behind his opponents hands, catching Douglas as he came.

It was only when Thomas Douglas’ arm was raised as the winner by split decision, to the surprise of most present, that the reality of the situation hit everyone at Zetland. The AIBA computer scoring system, which has been in operation since 2014, randomly selects two scores from the five judges scores to disregard. It often takes one score away from each boxer, but on this occasion it deselected two of Gelumbekas’ which took him from a winning position to losing by a split of 2-1.

Zetland Club Delegate Stevie Morrison said, “Everyone at the club is gutted for Danas, because it looked like he’d won through to the final. Then one of the quirks of the current scoring system snatched his chance away. But, that’s boxing! And to his credit Danas has already moved on. He is training with a smile on his face and is looking forward to his next challenge. He is a credit to himself, his family, his school, and of course Zetland Boxing Club.”