Boxing club in fighting spirits

Suzi Higton

Glasgow University Boxing Club had recent unprecedented success at the Scottish University Championships, the club scooping  two golds and a silver medal at the nationwide competition. Remaining undefeated at the championships that were held at Strathclyde University at the beginning of December, the club’s success was underlined by the fact that for many members of the club, this was their first competitive fight at university level.

Matthew Perkins who secured gold in an all Glasgow final at 64kg, also won another match in under twelve seconds by throwing only two punches Perkins who spoke to the Guardian after the match said: “It was really good and I really enjoyed myself out there. I was nervous stepping out there into the unknown but I think I’ve definitely got a chance in my next competitive matches coming up later this year.”

Club captain Jamie Munro was pleased with the club’s performance at the event: “I think that the championships went really really well, its definitely the most successful we’ve had for a number of years. The atmosphere was great, lots of friends and family came along to support us.”

It is hard to believe when speaking to  Munro who was crowned Scottish University Champion after winning the 57kg event in the first round at the competition that he is a fighter. Softly spoken with a small stature and perfectly intact nose, it is difficult to imagine that he has risen to become one of the university’s most successful and well known boxers.

Taking the club’s recent success into account, Munro feels that Glasgow could have increased their medal count if there had been more people representing the club in at the Scottish Championships: “Our only disadvantage was the lack of fighters we put into the competition.”

Although the club has around 60 members, including ten women fighters, the numbers that take part in national competition are comparatively poor. To counteract this, Munro is always keen to encourage new faces at the club: “It’s always good to have people come along and compete. We have a few freshers at the moment and its always good to see them coming to practices to improve their techniques and skills.” He adds: “It’s not necessary for people to have lots of experience or even to understand the principals of the game but to just have the initial interest in the sport.”

Despite its association with the filling of tabloid column inches and horrific injuries, names such as Scott Harrison and Mike Tyson springing to mind, boxing continues to be universally popular both in Britain and across the Atlantic, the UK producing some of the world’s most renowned fighters of modern times. Joe Calzaghe and Amir Kahn have in their respective categories become household names and role models to many aspiring young boxers all over the world.

Munro who rates the awe-inspiring Muhammed Ali amongst his boxing heroes is keen to dismiss the stereotypes associated with the activity: “It’s definitely a gentleman’s sport which requires skill, agility and lightning quick responses. Speed is definitely important, if you don’t see a punch coming its definitely going to hurt more.”

Despite a dubious introduction to competitive boxing at the Scottish Championships in Dundee, Munro has always continues to enjoy taking part in boxing at university. His first fight saw his competitor handed unfair victory, not only in his own eyes but those of the crowd. He puts down the judge’s decision to being biased towards his opponent but accepts that it is just part of the game.

This year’s calendar is busy both at Scottish and national level and Munro has high hopes that the club will make an impact at The British and Irish Championships which will be held in Birmingham in February:

“I think if we can build on our performance at the Scottish Championships and encourage more of our members to take part we will definitely be able  put up a good fight!”

The club meets every Monday and Wednesday at 8pm in the Stevenson Building and is looking for new members, no matter what experience of boxing they may have. Both potential fighters and those who just want the fitness training are always welcome.


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