Forgewood Boxing Club head coach Bert McShane reckons his stars – including top man Reece McFadden – are boxing very cleverly at the moment!
But Bert thinks the flyweight Commonwealth Games bronze medal landed by Reece on Australia’s Gold Coast in April was the very minimum he should have achieved.
“I was really disappointed it was only a bronze for Reece,” Bert told the Motherwell Times. I thought he had a really good chance of a gold.
“Reece was definitely on top in the third and final round, but then a wee bit of showboating didn’t go down too well with the judges.
“He started putting his hand down and doing a wee swagger here and a wee swagger there.
“It’s intimidating to the opponent but it’s not intimidating for the judges.
“I don’t know why he did it.
“I don’t like my boys doing anything like that because it looks a bit disrespectful.
“I think Reece would have won if he hadn’t done it.
“I was watching the fight on the telly at home and I was absolutely raging with him.
“And I didn’t think Reece was training hard enough before he went to Australia.”
Despite Bert’s fury at how Reece’s 2018 Commonwealth bid was ended by that defeat to Northern Ireland’s Brendan Irvine, the trainer still describes the Bellshill-born ace as “amazing”.
Reece’s CV includes another Commonwealth bronze at Glasgow 2014, plus five British titles and a European bronze.
And the 23-year-old’s fellow Forgewood member, Jay Delaney (16) is also a reigning British champion, having landed a 2002 63kg crown this year, shortly after joining the Motherwell club.
“Jay is a strong and fast boy who has improved since he came to Forgewood because the sparring is better here,” said Bert.
“He is a confident, aggressive boy who I hope will qualify to fight for Scotland at this October’s European Championships in Russia.”
In the female ranks, recent Forgewood arrival Vicky Glover triumphed in this year’s British Girls 57kg class.
This came soon after – like McFadden – she’d also fought at the Commonwealth Games.
And Bert said that Vicky (19) also had considerable boxing attributes.
“I have only been training Vicky for the past 10 weeks and she has done really well,” he added.
“I would say she is the most talented girl boxer in Scotland at the moment.
“Although she didn’t get a medal at the Commonwealth Games, she was very unlucky not to do so.
“After winning her first two fights impressively on the Gold Coast, she lost her quarter-final on a split decision.
“That was cruel on Vicky, because if she’d won that fight she’d have been guaranteed the minimum of a bronze medal.
“Vicky has improved a lot since starting at Forgewood.
“I asked her to change her approach to training because she was lazy at times.
“She said she didn’t like running and you need to run.
“She was wanting to sit on her backside after a session, but at Forgewood you have to train all the time.”
Bert said that fellow Forgewood fighter John Stevenson had been doing a lot of work with Vicky, improving her movement in the ring.
“Vicky is now on her toes all the time,” Bert added.
“She used to just stand there, fling punches and then take a couple.
“Now she is hitting and moving away and her fitness is getting better.”
Forgewood ABC, based in Mabel Street, is attended by 140 people every week.
Its fighters are flourishing at the moment, with its total list of current Scottish champions including Jay Delaney (2002 age group, 63kg class); Kyle Kerr (2002, 60kg); Mark Johnstone (2002, 57kg); Lloyd Delaney (2006, 29.5kg); Reece McFadden (flyweight) and Andrew Sneddon (2004, 40kg).
“This has been our best bunch of fighters for a wee while,” Bert said.
“There are some extremely good fighters here at the moment.”