Trio of Borders boxers victorious at Scottish Open Golden Gloves Championships
After three one-minute rounds at this year’s Scottish Open Golden Gloves Championships, Hawick Boxing Club pair Ivan Watson and Max Vevers, both ten and pupils at Drumlanrig St Cuthbert’s Primary School in their home-town, won the 2012 34kg and 36.5kg category finals and their Galashiels Boxing Club sparring partner Mason Maycock, 11, a pupil at Melrose Primary School, landed the 2011 34kg crown.
The Hawick club’s president, Andy Macfarlane, told the Southern Reporter: “The last time our club had Scottish champions was way back in the 1990s with Colin Bain and George Telfer, who won at the same championships, so what these two boys have achieved is absolutely outstanding.
“They have both been dedicated, out doing extra running, which for their age is a big thing to ask when their pals are out playing.
“They’ve put the extra work in when it’s been required.
“Ivan had to be really strict with his diet, which we don’t like doing with kids as they are obviously growing, but we had to do it with him to keep him under the weight.
“They are outstanding young talents. We are getting good comments from other coaches at different clubs from the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas, saying how highly they rate these boys.
“The world’s their oyster if they stick in, although obviously they’ve got their sticky years to come when rugby and other outside interests might make it difficult for us to hang onto them.
“The boys are still on cloud nine. They were in at training the other night and they were still up there on a high.
“They had the golden gloves with them and they were jumping about with them on. I was saying ‘you had better take care of them. They are keepsakes, not for wearing in the gym’. You expect them to be hyper at that age.”
Mason is the first open-class Scottish champion in the Galashiels club’s ten-year history, and his coach Steven Ross said: “It was a sensational effort by Mason. Everyone at the club is delighted for him.
“Winning in his first season of being allowed to take part in official fights is a brilliant achievement.
“The final was a very close contest against a boy from Keir Hardie Boxing Club at Newarthill in North Lanarkshire. It was two really good boxers.
“Usually these bouts can be, not scrappy affairs, but a bit untidy because of the inexperience of the boxers.
“Both of them were boxing in their first season, but both boys were composed for their age and looked like boys who had been doing it for a while, not just in their first season.
“Mason won it on a 3-2 split from the judges.
“We are hoping that this win leads onto bigger things, hopefully progressing onto the British championships and having a bright future in the sport.”
Ivan, Max and Mason will all be boxing at the William Wallace Box Cup in Stirling this July, that being their next big competition.
Their two coaches are optimistic about their chances, with Ross adding: “Hopefully Mason will pick up another gold medal.
“We’ve got to be confident after he picked up the Scottish title.
“There will be clubs coming from England and Wales as well, so it should be a good experience for the lads.”
His Hawick counterpart is also upbeat about his charges’ chances but stressed the importance of getting financial help to keep the club thriving.
“We are really desperate for support to keep these boys in a good place and keep them going,” Macfarlane said.
“It’s hard sometimes when you are competing with rugby but they enjoy the sport so we’ll keep at it.
“They are best pals as well.
"Ivan is not long off the back of winning the eastern district title as well, where he actually fought Max in the final, so we had to separate them for this one because we didn’t want them meeting again.
“Fortunately it worked in our favour and we got two champions instead of one.”
In addition to Macfarlane, club coaching at Hawick is also undertaken by George Telfer, Corey Hunter and Dylan Greig.