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Highland Boxing Academy club show up there with our best, says head coach Liam Foy


By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Boxing Academy head coach Liam Foy says there was an electric atmosphere at the club’s first home show since the start of the pandemic last weekend.

Beth Mackenzie (red) won by unanimous decision over Isla Grant in Highland Boxing Academy's home show in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie
Beth Mackenzie (red) won by unanimous decision over Isla Grant in Highland Boxing Academy's home show in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie

Having been next in line in the Northern District when the pandemic first took hold in March 2020 and shut all sport down, they would not have expected it to be a full 21 months before it actually took place.

It proved to be worth the wait, though, as Foy believes it was up there with the best events HBA have ever put on.

Fynlay Keenon opened Highland Boxing Academy's home show in December 2021 by picking up a unanimous decision victory over William Clark. Picture: David Rothnie
Fynlay Keenon opened Highland Boxing Academy's home show in December 2021 by picking up a unanimous decision victory over William Clark. Picture: David Rothnie

“It was amazing,” Foy enthused.

“Any coach running an amateur boxing show will always tell you it’s the best night, and the best atmosphere, because they’ve put so much work into it, but it was up there with one of the best amateur shows that we’ve run.

“Maybe that had something to do with it being so long – I think the last show we hosted was pre-pandemic, so it was well-received and the atmosphere was the best we’ve had at the Legion.

“With the omicron variant starting to surge, it was one of the biggest releases ever to be able to get it over the line and do so within the guidelines and restrictions.

“In regards to the show itself, it was well-received by the public.

“I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from everyone about how good a night of boxing it was. That’s testament to everyone at our club for the development of these boxers that were on show.”

Fynlay Keenon won the Donald Macphee trophy for best home boxer of the night in Highland Boxing Academy's club show in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie
Fynlay Keenon won the Donald Macphee trophy for best home boxer of the night in Highland Boxing Academy's club show in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie

Part of what fed into the atmosphere around the card, as far as Foy believes, was the level of support across the board.

Sometimes fans will be in attendance to support a friend or family member, but last weekend it seemed to be far more universal than that.

Liam Miller won a split decision against Jake Love as Highland Boxing Academy hosted their first club show since the pandemic in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie
Liam Miller won a split decision against Jake Love as Highland Boxing Academy hosted their first club show since the pandemic in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie

“It’s a new squad that we’ve got, but they’ve been training together for quite some time,” Foy said.

“This group of novices and beginners have been together for quite a long time, and their friends and families are familiar with each other, so the support for everyone was absolutely phenomenal.

“It wasn’t a group of family or friends supporting one individual boxer, the connection is quite tight at the club just now because this generation have been through the mill pre-pandemic through to now.

The fight of the night trophy at Highland Boxing Academy's home show in December 2021 was won by Liam Miller, who took a split decision against Jake Love. Picture: David Rothnie
The fight of the night trophy at Highland Boxing Academy's home show in December 2021 was won by Liam Miller, who took a split decision against Jake Love. Picture: David Rothnie

“I think that had brought the club and those families and friends together, there’s a bit more unity that I haven’t experienced before.

“That’s a result of what we’ve all gone through with the pandemic, but that was displayed on the evening because everybody was right behind every boxer regardless of whether they had come to support them specifically. It was electric, you could feel the noise.”

Highland Boxing Academy's Luke Urquhart scored a unanimous decision over Caithness boxer Cailean Frazer in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie
Highland Boxing Academy's Luke Urquhart scored a unanimous decision over Caithness boxer Cailean Frazer in December 2021. Picture: David Rothnie

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