Galashiels fighter Jack Swaney bidding to make history after qualifying for Boxing Scotland Golden Gloves Elite Championship final

Galashiels Boxing Club’s tenth-anniversary year could be marked in style as cruiserweight fighter Jack Swaney is in with a chance of becoming their first-ever senior elite national champion.
Jack Swaney celebrates after beating Davy Nelson in semi-final (Pics courtesy of Boxing Scotland)Jack Swaney celebrates after beating Davy Nelson in semi-final (Pics courtesy of Boxing Scotland)
Jack Swaney celebrates after beating Davy Nelson in semi-final (Pics courtesy of Boxing Scotland)

Swaney, 22, of Galashiels, will take on Paul Greville, of East Renfrewshire’s Barrhead Boxing Club, in the Boxing Scotland Golden Gloves Elite Championship final over three rounds of three minutes at Motherwell’s Ravenscraig Sports Facility on Saturday, April 15, after quarter-final and semi-final points victories over Glasgow’s Rob Roy Boxing Club’s Sohaib Anaib on March 18 and Kirkcaldy’s Kingdom Boxing Club’s Davy Nelson a week later at the same venue.

His coach Steven Ross told the Southern Reporter: “In previous years, we’ve had senior fighters getting beaten in the semis and this is the first time we’ve had someone in a senior elite final, so if he did manage to win, it would be a massive achievement.

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“If Jack managed to pull off a win in the final, it would be a really big deal for the club.

Swaney lands a punch against NelsonSwaney lands a punch against Nelson
Swaney lands a punch against Nelson

“I’m definitely confident that Jack can do it, although I’ve seen Greville boxing before and he’s a good boxer who has reached a final in the past, so he’ll have confidence too. He’ll be going into it thinking he can win.

"Jack has just been working his jab really well. He’s got quite a long reach on him. He’s got a good engine on him, a high level of work-rate and can go through three rounds.

“He tries to keep his opponents at a distance, at a range, just working his jab, and he does well.

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“Jack is looking good in the gym. It’s probably the best he’s ever looked, to be fair. He is probably peaking just at the right time.

Swaney has opportunity to make history in April 15 finalSwaney has opportunity to make history in April 15 final
Swaney has opportunity to make history in April 15 final

“Our club are going to be taking a table for the final. I think the committee are going to be going along to give Jack some support on the night and there will be a few of us heading up.

“There should be a good atmosphere. It’s Boxing Scotland’s biggest night of the year, so it should be good and we are looking forward to the big occasion.

“This season the organisers renamed these championships because they used to just be the Scottish elite championships but now if you win you get a pair of golden gloves, so I think they are just trying to add a bit of prestige to it and bring something different.”

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Swaney, having joined the Galashiels club in 2017, has previously landed two novice championship silver medals at Ravenscraig but victory in the upcoming fight would be a far bigger achievement.

Jack Swaney is pictured during his quarter-final winJack Swaney is pictured during his quarter-final win
Jack Swaney is pictured during his quarter-final win

The boxer, employed at Oregon Timber Frame in Selkirk, is coached by several volunteers at Galashiels, including head coach Jim Gill, Ross, Ricky Mitchell, Jack Grieve and Jim Dorris.

“For Jack’s quarter-final, it was me and Ricky sitting in his corner,” Ross added. “For his semi-final, it was Ricky and Jack Grieve, and for his final, it’s going to be me, Jack and Jim. Ricky’s going to miss out because he’s got a wedding unfortunately.

“You could see by the end of Jack’s quarter-final fight that he was tiring a bit as he hadn’t been in the ring for a while and there was a bit of ring-rustiness, but in the semi-final he looked good and you could see he could have gone for another couple of rounds.

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“If Jack sticks in, he could go far in boxing. If he wins this, he could then go on to win other Scottish championships and also the chance to fight for a British title.

“In the summer, they’ll have the GB tri-nations with teams of fighters from Scotland, England and Wales, so Jack will probably get an assessment from Boxing Scotland and if they think he is at that level, they will take him into that tournament.”

When he fights in April 15’s final, Swaney will be trying to follow in the footsteps of his 12-year-old clubmate Mason Maycock, of Melrose, as he won the Boxing Scotland national school and junior golden gloves championships’ 34.5g 2011 title at Ravenscraig at the end of February.

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