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21 SEPTEMBER 2014

 

McIntyre Outscores McMillan in Terrific Comeback


Photo: Shabba Shafiq/SW33TSCIENCE
Photo: Shabba Shafiq/SW33TSCIENCE

By Tom Gray; Kevin McIntyre climbed off the canvas twice, in the first round, to outscore Gary McMillan over ten rounds at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh on Saturday night.  The referee scored the all southpaw welterweight clash 95-94.

McMillan stormed out of the blocks and decked his man with a terrific left hand to the ribs, which sucked the air from the Glaswegian’s lungs.  The former British champion rose gamely but McMillan found the exact same spot with another rapier left hand, which floored him for a second time.  This reporter wrote the words “all over” on a notepad but a scrappy follow up and the bell saved McIntyre from further punishment.

The Edinburgh based McMillan went on the attack again in the second, landing a big left hand to the head, which stunned his man.  Suddenly McIntyre found a bit of rhythm and began throwing sharp shots down the centre, with several connecting, as McMillan became reckless.  The experience of the 33year old was only just starting to show itself and the home fighter looked surprised that he didn’t have a glass of champagne in his hand.

This pattern continued in round three as a string of accurate lefts and rights snapped McMillan’s head back.  There was no doubt that the home fighter was stronger but he was being countered brilliantly by McIntyre who was now displaying technical superiority.  At ringside there was already talk of the fight being a “classic” as McIntyre continued to make up lost ground in a competitive round four.

McIntyre was using his feet well in the fifth, stepping around his man, while keeping him on the end of a spearing right jab.  McMillan was always pressing and kept it very interesting but the bombs which landed in the first round were no longer detonating and his frustration was mounting.  The atmosphere in the arena was simply electric at this stage.

McIntyre’s fluency was in direct contrast to McMillan’s output, which appeared hesitant and disjointed, in the sixth.  The younger man had his moments but it was difficult to give him rounds because he was catching a lot of counterpunching and a consistent right jab found its mark with regularity.  After a nightmare start McIntyre was now pulling away on this reporter’s scorecard.

The seventh and eighth rounds were more of the same as the Edinburgh fighter searched for closure, while McIntyre out maneuvered him with boxing skill.  At ringside the McMillan support were begging him to let his hands go but he would not, or could not, fulfill their wishes.  In the ninth round McIntyre added a new wrinkle, an effective lead uppercut, which pierced the guard on more than occasion.

The final round secured the win for McIntyre, who improves to 30-8 (9 KO’s).  From this reporter’s vantage point he won by a wider margin than the official scorecard suggested but that is incidental.   McMillan can come again and, with some fine tuning, make a real impression on the domestic scene in the future.  He falls to 12-3 (3 KO’s).


Alex Arthur, appearing as fighter and promoter, scored an impressive fourth round stoppage of Aleksander Vakhtangashvili in a light welterweight contest.

The popular Edinburgh stylist worked behind an educated left jab in the first round and crossed over with some vicious right hands to the body.  The Georgia born Vakhtangashvili was too inexperienced to threaten Arthur and looked completely out of his depth under a violent and consistent assault.

In the second a shuddering right hand burst Vakhtangashvili’s nose across his face, as Arthur continued to cut off the ring effectively.  This reporter noticed in recent fights that Arthur was guilty of losing focus but that was not the case this time, as he continued with the body assault, and dropped his man with an excellent straight right hand to the liver in the third.

Vakhtangashvili seemed to sense urgency and opened up bravely at the start of the fourth but his attack was easily thwarted by the former WBO Super Featherweight Champion.  Another quick flurry to head and body dropped the visitor again and he could have been forgiven for staying down but his pride dragged him to his feet.  Arthur closed with a series of quick hooks and despite his opponent rising, the referee had seen enough.

Arthur, 33 years old, improves to 30-3 (21 KO’s) and needs a serious challenge because the clock is ticking.  His reunion with trainer, Peter Harrison, could be the key to some serious business at lightweight.

Kenny Anderson produced the knockout of the night with a fourth round stoppage of Sheffield based Lee Duncan in a super middleweight contest.

This reporter noted in the opening seconds that Duncan held his head too high and that spelt instant danger.  Having said that he boxed very well in the first two rounds and seemed to frustrate the Commonwealth gold medalist with movement, switch hitting and counter punching.

Suddenly the Scot moved up a gear in the third and his opponent was forced into serious retreat.  Two memorable combinations drove Duncan backwards and he began to look less and less interested.  In the fourth Anderson timed a straight right hand perfectly and then unloaded with a thunderous right hook which knocked his opponent completely unconscious.

Anderson, from Edinburgh, looked excellent and his power at 168lbs is not to be under estimated.  His only setback came against the reigning British and Commonwealth Champion, George Groves, with whom he wants a rematch.

Lightweight Jason Hastie, of Edinburgh, out boxed the game and entertaining veteran, Johnny Greaves, taking a 40-36 verdict.


Super Middleweight John McCallum, of Edinburgh, defeated Brighton’s Iain Jackson by a score of 60-54 and remains undefeated.


Please forward comments to tomgray2404@live.co.uk

August 27, 2011



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