Boxing: Meadowbank event a success as McEwan enjoys his homecoming

Edinburgh’s boxing fans turned out in force at Meadowbank Stadium on Saturday night to welcome home formerly Los Angeles-based Clovenstone middleweight Craig McEwan.

The former amateur internationalist and multi-tournament winner has carved out a successful professional career with Freddy Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Hollywood over the past five years. His American promoters Golden Boy had, however, agreed to allow him to fight on Alex Arthur’s AAA card to give his Scottish fans the opportunity to watch him in the flesh.

Patriotic McEwan, who fights under the sobriquet “Scottish” in the US and wears an SNP symbol on his shorts, entered the ring to a rock version of Scotland The Brave. He soon had Paul Morby, his Portsmouth-based opponent, dancing round the ring in a vain effort to avoid the Scot’s stinging combinations.

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Eventually survival was the tough Englishman’s only concern and he shut up shop in the face of the constant barrage of punches from McEwan who won all eight rounds and at the end received a standing ovation from the big, appreciative crowd.

Afterwards, a delighted McEwan paid tribute to Arthur, whose AAA company promoted the event: “Alex took a big risk with this show but he was confident that if he could get the right guys the Edinburgh fans would turn out in force. It’s hard enough to prepare for a bout at this level but he had to organise the show too.

“Hibs and Hearts both had massive games in Glasgow this weekend and a lot of people were saying the crowd at Meadowbank would be affected. But the fans proved Alex was right and the doubters were wrong.”

McEwan added: “I have fought in Las Vegas and have topped the bill on big shows in America but there’s nothing like fighting in front of your own people. The atmosphere tonight was fantastic and I hope, in future, to fight for a title here.”

McEwan’s victory was the culmination of a fine evening’s boxing by Edinburgh fighters, with local boys Kenny Anderson and former world title holder Alex Arthur winning well in earlier bouts. Anderson, the Celtic super-middleweight champion, defeated Birmingham’s Wayne Reed, who had to call it quits at the end of the third round after receiving a fierce blow to his nose. Arthur, meanwhile, beat London-based Michael Frontin of Mauritius, the 33-year-old deservedly getting the decision after the scheduled eight rounds.

“He was good and I got the rounds in,” said Arthur. “I’ve been developing as a light-welterweight and working on my strength. I hope to have two more fights this year and if a top promoter can’t get me them I will promote them myself.”