Youngsters from Clydebank and Drumchapel have taken Scottish boxing by storm, picking up medals against the best in the country.
Jamie McLean and Anthony Morton are two of the area’s brightest sporting prospects. The pair, both members of the Argo Boxing Club in Drumchapel, achieved major success in regional and national competitions.
Anthony, 13, recently became the fourth Scottish Champion in the club’s history. Competing in the 32kg class, the Drumchapel youngster beat his Lanarkshire opponent convincingly in the final, with judges scoring the bout eight points to four.
His triumph came hot on the heels of club-mate Jamie McLean’s victory in the Western District Championships. In only his first season boxing, the Parkhall 12-year-old seems to be a natural talent in the ring. He beat his semi-final opponent by six points to one, before winning 10 – 8 in the final to claim the Western District title.
Coach David Savage told Clydebank Live: “The boys have put in a lot of effort in training and it really paid off.
“For Jamie to win the Western Districts in his first season is a great achievement. He was unlucky to lose in the semi-final of the Scottish Championships – we actually thought he had won.
“Anthony was disappointed to lose in the semi-final of the Western Districts but he went on to make real progress, working hard to develop his skills and fitness. It was a different story by the time the Scottish Championships came around – he was absolutely brilliant then and certainly deserved to win the title.”
Argo Boxing Club was founded more than 30 years ago, offering youngsters from across the area the chance to learn skills, socialise and keep fit. Bringing together kids from Drumchapel and Clydebank, the club helps overcome the negative influence of the area’s gangs.
The youngsters compete in amateur boxing, where the emphasis is on fitness and skill rather than knock-out punches. Bouts are short – consisting of three rounds of 60 or 90 seconds, depending on the weight class.
Using the same scoring system as in Olympic boxing, judges award points for clean hits. This places a greater emphasis on technique than on power.
Anthony – a first year pupil at Drumchapel High School – said: “When I first stepped into a ring I was really nervous, but it’s good fun. The training’s hard but you get really fit so it keeps you healthy.”
Jamie – who is in primary seven at St Stephen’s in Dalmuir – added: “You get to meet people who you wouldn’t anywhere else. Boxing is a great way to make friends and it makes you fitter than other sports.
The fighting duo are working hard to continue their progress, with both hoping to go further in their sport. Jamie McLean is looking to add the Scottish Championship to his Western District crown next season, while Anthony Morton’s next target is the British Championship.
Argo Boxing Club runs free introductory training sessions for 10 to 19 year olds. Anyone interested in learning to box should contact Paul McCann on 07951 011 172.
Note: The founder of Argo Boxing Club, Jimmy Harvey, sadly passed away yesterday (Friday, May 4). Mr Harvey’s 40-year service to his community and sport is greatly appreciated by people throughout Drumchapel, Knightswood and Clydebank. Much admired and respected by everyone at the club, he will be sorely missed. They plan to give him “a great send off” and hope their continued training of boys and girls from the area will be a fitting legacy, of which Mr Harvey would be proud. He will be remembered fondly by everyone connected with amateur boxing in Glasgow.