On Friday 16th November 2012 a Scotland select competed against the British Army boxing team within the S.A.S (Special Air Service) Barracks, Hereford, England. With around 1000 spectators seated in the arena, the atmosphere was electric from start to finish.
Bout 1 – Lewis Paulin (Scotland) v Robert Sowdon (Army)
First up for the Scotland select was Lewis Paulin. Nothing could separate both boxers at the end of the first round, but going into the second Lewis started to apply consistent pressure onto his Army opponent finding success with the straight rear hand. The momentum stayed with the Scottish boxer, with Lewis stringing together 2 to 3 phase attacks scoring in each attack. A solid performance in Scotland vest once again from Lewis Paulin.
Winner – Lewis Paulin (Scotland)
Bout 2 – Lewis Benson (Scotland) v Danny Allan (Army)
Next up for Scotland was Lewis Benson against the Army’s experienced Danny Allan. The first round echoed what was to be the format of the contest, with the Army’s Allan having to close down the long range of Lewis in order for him to box at close quarters. Lewis boxed to his strengths in the opening round making good use of the jab, preventing Allan to get inside and also to set up his long range attacks. Lewis began to break the rhythm of his come forward opponent, dominating the centre of the ring and whipping some effective rear hand punches over his opponents guard. However, both boxers shared equal success for the majority of the bout but with the contrasting styles the bout witnessed frequent clinches and breaks. Perhaps with computer scoring the Scotland select could have registered another win but unfortunately it was not to be.
Winner – Danny Allan (Army)
Bout 3 – Charlie Flynn (Sco) v Kristian Touze (Army)
In the last bout before the interval Scotland’s Charlie Flynn was up against Army counter puncher Touze. The majority of the first round witnessed Touze successfully counter Charlie’s attacks on the back foot; however the last 60 seconds saw Charlie get into a solid rhythm and showed why he is the current GB Champion. This contest had the crowd at their feet as Charlie consistently closed the gap on Touze, using great variation in his punches and drifting in and out of range to upset the timing of his opponent. The Army’s Touze continued to throw his fast clusters of countering punches at the end of Flynn’s attacks, but the Scottish boxer started and finished the majority of the exchanges throughout the contest. A great display of determination and will to win from the Scottish boxer.
Winner – Charlie Flynn (Scotland)
Bout 4 – Jason Easton (Sco) v Jimmy Randall (Army)
After the interval Scotland’s Jason Easton locked horns with the Army’s tough south paw Randall. Jason made a solid start, changing the tempo of his feet and punches not allowing the big punching Randall to sit down on his shots. Jason used the Attack / Defend tactic very effectively, attacking Randall with fast, accurate punching then moving his target area out the way of the replying punches. As the bout progressed Randall had to use all of his wit and experience to break the rhythm of the Scottish boxer, starting to apply consistent pressure on the slick looking Easton. Although the last round saw both boxers find the target during the exchanges, it looked as though Jason had accumulated enough during the 3 rounds to secure a close decision. However, it was not to be this time for Jason, although a lot can be taken from a very positive and well-rounded performance after a long period out of the ring.
Winner – Jimmy Randall (Army)
Bout 5 – Aqeel Ahmed (Sco) v Ashley Williams (Army)
With both boxers having met previously during the GB semi-final earlier in the year, Scotland’s Aqeel was looking to seek revenge upon the highly rated Welsh international. The first round saw the Army boxer come out as anticipated with an extremely high work rate and high volume of punches. However, in what was to be the theme of an incredible bout, Aqeel employed a highly effective tight positive defence and soaked up the pressure with great composure and ring-craft. Behind a water-tight guard Aqeel’s punch variety was second to none, and was catching Williams with clean scoring punches in between the Welshman’s onslaughts. Scotland’s Ahmed performed out of his skin throughout the entire contest, cumulating what looked to be punch after punch of clear scoring blows. Williams was not without his punches finding the target, but the majority were colliding with the master class defence of Aqeel. With the crowd on their feet on the final bell, Team Scotland were in anticipation of a fantastic win after an incredible performance from Aqeel. Astonishingly though, the decision went to the Army. Team Scotland can only question the clicker scoring for a surprising and very disappointing decision – however, the performance could not be taken away from Aqeel – well done!
Winner – Ashley Williams (Army)
Bout 6 – Joe Ham (Sco) v James Allen (Army)
In the last contest of the evening, Joe was up against the Army’s long standing campaigner Allen. Both boxers started by probing their opponent’s defence, with Joe sussing out the former ABAE champion by measuring his reaction to the different attacks. In what was a fairly even first round, Joe finished stronger by piercing Allen’s high defence with effective bursts of straight long range punches. From the start of the second round, it appeared the Army felt the bout may slip away from Allen, as unfortunately a series a fouls were being inflicted from the Army boxer. Even after receiving one warning Allen continued to try and bring the contest into a messy affair, restricting Joe from building any sort of momentum. However, even under these conditions, the experienced Scottish boxer managed to persevere and send some clear scoring rear hands in amongst the haze of the scrappy Allen. To add even more disappointment Joe received a warning for ‘fouling’, which would then even out any warning issued to Allen. Even given the theme of the bout due to the tactics deployed by the Army boxer, it was felt Joe had done enough to come out of a scrappy affair the victor. But unfortunately, once again the officials sitting ringside did not agree and another decision was lost in the midst of boxing away from home.
Winner – James Allen (Army)
Overall every Scottish boxer delivered solid performances, with some outstanding contests on display. Although a lot could be said for ‘questionable’ scoring on some occasions, what matters in a dual show such as this is the individual performances produced by the boxers – well done.
Due to S.A.S. security restrictions, ABS was unable to take any photographs during the event itself.