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Boxing: McCallum’s gritty comeback leads a treble of wins for Capital fighters

Gareth Stemp, in the blue shorts, was defeated by Barrington Brown in a night of mixed results for Capital boxers

Gareth Stemp, in the blue shorts, was defeated by Barrington Brown in a night of mixed results for Capital boxers

There were victories for local favourites Craig McEwan, John Thain and John McCallum in Saturday’s Capital Festive Fight Night at Meadowbank Stadium.

There were victories for local favourites Craig McEwan, John Thain and John McCallum in Saturday’s Capital Festive Fight Night at Meadowbank Stadium.

There was disappointment, however, for Gareth Stemp who suffered defeat by Nottingham’s Barrington Brown, but Sweeney Boxing promoter Tony Lindie was satisfied with the promotional company’s first event in Edinburgh despite not receiving the turnout he had hoped for.

With Jason Hastie and Gary McMillan’s proposed bouts not going ahead as scheduled, Lindie was forced into making some last-minute alterations.

“It went well and ran OK but there wasn’t the crowd there I was hoping for,” Lindie said. “It happens in boxing with people pulling out all the time, but I just wish we had had the nine fights instead of the seven. “It would have been good to have had more people there getting behind us but this was our first promotion so I had a lot to prove as well. We will definitely go for Meadowbank again and are hoping for something in maybe March or April.

“We’ll sit down in the new year and take things from there. I need to sort the date and secure the venue before applying for it through the British Boxing Board of Control, but I am keen to get those back involved who were there on Saturday.”

Lindie is confident that 24-year-old McCallum, who defeated Simone Lucas and is now represented by Sweeney Promotions, can finally move on from a difficult period that at one stage had put his professional boxing career in jeopardy.

“It was a great win for John on Saturday,” said Lindie. “He hasn’t fought in 18 months so he did really well. He seemed a wee bit worried going into the fight because he gets nervous. He didn’t win every round but he turned it around and I could see him biting down on his gum shield and the determination in him to win was there.

“There was stuff that happened with John in the past but I said to him he needs to put that to bed. What happened has happened so he needs to move on. This happens in boxing so he needs to do his talking in the ring.

“There were all kinds of rumours going around saying he was pulling out of fights and that he’d bottled it, so this victory has let John prove he is a fighter. I think he had been feeling down but I had a couple of meetings with him and I can see a change in him now where he has perked right up again.”

Thain underlined his ability with an impressive display in his victory over Bolton’s Chris Jenkinson, but McEwan delivered the night’s only knock-out against Polish opponent Mariusz Biskupski.

McEwan did suffer a blow in the second round which reopened a previous wound just above his eye. However, this proved to be a minor setback in an all-round accomplished performance by the middleweight fighter. With a final victory for 2012 under his belt, McEwan is ready to follow in the footsteps of recent British super middleweight champion Kenny 
Anderson and bring further success back to the Capital.

The 30-year-old said: “He (Biskupski) was a strong guy but the cut was just from an old wound. I hurt him in the first round when I got a left hook right in the body.

“I got him down a few times but he kept getting back up, so he was tough, but everything went smoothly apart from the cut to my eye, so I’m pleased. It was a great atmosphere during my fight and I got a knock-out which is what people are coming to see.

“I’ll get back out there again in hopefully February and it’s titles I am now wanting. We’ve got a British champion in Kenny (Anderson) so I want to bring back some more. 2013 is going to be one big push.”

In the night’s other bouts, Dundee’s Ronnie Clark defeated Abdul Rashid, Kris Hughes outfought Belfast’s Mark Ginley and Anthony Cacace, also from the Northern 
Irish capital, saw off Youssef Al Hamidi.

 

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