Brannen takes home the belt

Paul Brannen leaves Lyndon Chircop covering up on his way to claiming the EBF bantamweight title.
Paul Brannen leaves Lyndon Chircop covering up on his way to claiming the EBF bantamweight title.

Bellshill boxer Paul Brannen is the new EBF bantamweight champion after taking the belt from Lyndon Chircop in a dominant display.

Chircop from Malta had held the belt since 2012, but found himself outclassed by Brannen who slimmed down three weight divisions to 55kg for the six-round bout at Fight Club 6.

Brannen rocked Chircop with two vicious left hooks in the second and although the champion fought on he never looked like he had shaken off the blows for the next three rounds.

Chircop came back a bit in the last, but by then Brannen had a points victory in the bag and held his opponent at bay.

The judges awarded the fight 60-56, 59-57, 57-56 in favour of the ‘Boy Wonder’ as he lifted the gold in front of a packed Alona Hotel audience.

Fighting Scots Gym head couch Frank Gilluley said: “Paul deserves the title as he has worked hard, particularly in the lead up to this fight with the nutritionist to get his weight down, but maintaining his punching power.

“Paul definitely got the upper hand in the second with two cracking shots, but it was still a hard fight as Chircop wasn’t going to give up his title without a fight.

“We had a battle plan which Paul executed very well so we are very proud of him, there has been talk of a rematch next year, but we’ll just see how that goes.”

Fellow Bellshill fighter Chris Buchanan returned to the ring for the first time in eight years.

He could only manage a draw with Blake Owen, but is confident he will soon be back to winning ways.

Buchanan said: “It was a very hard fight, I thought I won, as did everybody else except the referee.

“But taking nothing away from my opponent Blake was very good as well and turned up when it mattered.

“It was my first fight in over eight years and I am only going to get better, so onwards and upwards, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

There were another seven fights on the cards including two stoppages for Stephen Erwin over Scott Williams and Brendan Smith over Lucas Tinkler, who was late sub for John Mark. There were also points victories for Gary Douglas over Darren Lucas, Ray Kelly over Nathan Lowe, Stuart Maxwell over Hayden Smith, Shaun Tyler over Jordan Graham and Ben McGivern over Eric Mullins.

In July members of the Fighting Scots will be hoping to be part of Team Scotland which travels to Malta.

Gilluley said: “There is so much untapped talent all over Scotland and those who work hard will have the opportunity to shine.