McCallum wins gold

Gary McCallum celebrates becoming Scottish champion
Gary McCallum celebrates becoming Scottish champion
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NEWARTHILL ABC’s Gary McCallum is the new Scottish middleweight champion after defeating Stranraer’s Paul Allison at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility on Friday.

A near capacity crowd was on hand for the Return of the Steelmen card joint-promoted by Bellshill-based Prospect Promotions and Chris Gilmour of the legendary Gilmour dynasty.

The title bout headlined over 10 rounds as McCallum put his unbeaten record on the line against an opponent who had suffered just one loss in his professional career.

McCallum used his spearing jab throughout much of the fight to keep Allison at bay, who was mainly restricted to body shots, at least when he was able to make contact with an evasive target.

At the end of 10 hard rounds referee Victor Loughlin of Paisley scored the contest in favour of McCallum 98-93.

The new champion said: “It’s a great feeling, hopefully this is the first title of many, and being the Scottish champion is particularly special.

“I knew when the fight was announced it was going to be a tough one and I prepared myself for 10 hard rounds as I knew Paul would be coming after me.

“I had a great eight-week camp and I have to may tribute to my trainer Wullie Downie for getting me into the best possible shape.

“I am now looking to get back into the ring as soon as possible, there is no point sitting idle, I’ve had nine fights so far and chuffed to have won all of them against some pretty difficult opponents so need to keep the momentum going.”

Gary would like to thank his sponsors GM Civil & Structural Engineering Architects and Graeme Downie Fitness for their support.

The main support bout saw Motherwell flyweight Iain Butcher make short work of Bulgarian Galin Paunov with a stoppage inside two minutes.

Butcher is now targeting British champion Kevin Satchell, but understands the ball is in the Englishman’s court for now.

He said: “I caught Paunov early on and I just don’t think he ever recovered so when he walked onto a body shot it was all over.

“He didn’t have a great record, but had been in with some highly ranked boys who couldn’t stop him, so while I wasn’t expecting a tough fight, I did at least think we’d get the rounds out of him. However, now I am fully focused on Satchell, his next defence is a voluntary one so it depends whether he wants an easy fight or a hard one.

“He might decide to challenge someone lower in the rankings and that’s up to him, but if I do get the call I’ll be ready.”

Unfortunately Motherwell super middleweight Alex Montgomery was unable to make his professional debut against Iain Jackson, but manager Paul Graham hopes to get him in action soon.

Meanwhile Uddingston’s Paul Burns made a successful comeback in Dundee after two years away from the ring.

The light middleweight beat Dee Mitchell 40-37 on points.

Southpaw Burns comfortably won the first two rounds with some excellent jabbing and body punches to keep the increasingly aggressive Mitchell at bay.

The Englishman raised the tempo in the third round, matching Burns’ efforts to control the fight, but could only manage a share of the points. Both fighters tired slightly in the last round, which Burns shaded for his aggression and cleaner and more direct punches.