GARY Cornish, the undefeated Highland heavyweight, will make history at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre next month when he becomes the first Scot in history to box a British title eliminator on home soil.
The late Ken Shaw, from Dundee, contested a heavyweight eliminator against the legendary Freddie Mills in London in 1949 but was defeated in his quest to fight for the Lonsdale Belt.
But the 6’ 7” ring giant from Inverness will face a change of opponent after it was revealed yesterday that former Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton has withdrawn from the 6 September bout due to a back injury.
The Norwich boxer’s place will be taken by another Englishman, Londoner Ian Lewison, subject to British Boxing Board of Control approval.
Cornish’s manager, Tommy Gilmour, confirmed that he has made a match with Lewison, the Southern Area champion with a record of ten wins from 13 bouts.
Lewison topped the bill on the final St Andrew’s Sporting Club show of the season in Glasgow in June, stopping Croatian Kreso Bogdanovic in the second round and Gilmour conceded: “He’s a big lump of a man at 18st 10lbs and a powerful hitter.
“I could have put Gary in with another European, but the big fellow is champing at the bit to earn a crack at the British title. But it will be, without doubt, the toughest fight of his career.
“But Gary is up for it. He’s had a lot of good sparring with the likes of Tyson Fury and the American Eddie Chambers, who are also big men, and training has gone well.
“Even though it’s a change of opponent, there is more than three weeks to the fight so that won’t hamper Gary’s preparations in any way.”
Paisley light-middleweight Kris Carslaw, 29, will share top billing in another British title eliminator, against Edinburgh’s John Thain.