BBC let Scotland down by failing to show Josh Taylor's historic boxing victory live – Kenny MacAskill MP

I’ve always been more a football or rugby man, than boxing.

But I’ve respected boxing’s fitness levels and the discipline’s incredible, and I’m proud to call Alex Arthur a friend.

Sporting success has been limited in Scotland over recent years despite recent valiant efforts by the national football and rugby teams, and some individual successes. So you’d think a Scottish boxer achieving international success would be something for the nation to focus on.

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But Josh Taylor’s victory last week was eerily absent from the supposed national broadcaster. Neither live viewing was offered nor even much of a round-up on UK news channels.

I was fortunate to meet Josh Taylor after he’d won his way into the Commonwealth Games final en route to his Gold Medal, and have followed his career ever since. His victory was the first time a UK boxer had won all four available belts, so no mean achievement. Of course, his success was reported widely but why was there no live broadcast on BBC Scotland or even recognition on UK news?

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I’m old enough to remember the great Ken Buchanan and recall watching Jim Watt’s struggles in pubs when younger. So why wasn’t our supposed national broadcaster following his story and showing it live? I know sport’s expensive and bidding can be pricey. But this was a major event and we’re entitled to see it.

It matters to those that follow the sport and the feel-good factor for a small nation’s significant. It’s inconceivable that RTE wouldn’t have shown it had it been an Irish boxer and other small nations would be likewise. They seek to maximise the impact and reflect the feel-good factor. It matters yet was absent.

Josh Taylor celebrates beating Ryan Martin during their WBC Silver Championship at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, in 2018 (Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA)

Once again the channel purporting to be the national broadcaster, let the nation down. Showing the Scottish Cup Final is simply not enough. It’s not just the actions of Martin Bashir that’s putting them in the frame but their failings in Scotland.

Broadcasting should be devolved as current protocols are clearly failing – shape up or ship out. All of us, not just Josh Taylor, are missing out.

Kenny MacAskill is the Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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