SPRINGHILL ABC veteran John Thompson enjoyed a winning return to action last weekend as he secured his first Scottish title.
The 30-year-old moved up to superheavyweight and saw off Inverness City’s Steve Palmer to claim Senior Intermediate Championship gold at the Ravenscraig Sports Facility.
Thompson has been sidelined for four months but impressed on his way to a 6-3 points victory.
Head coach Frank Delaney said: “He was trying to get down to heavyweight but couldn’t get the weight off.
“I knew that the super-heavyweights that were entering weren’t as tall but were strong so John could use his speed and movement against these fighters.”
Although Thompson was giving away almost one-and-a-quarter stones, Palmer was only slightly taller than him.
Thompson worked his jab and moved well in the first and second rounds as Palmer attempted to draw him into the war he wanted.
Delaney and assistant coach Gary Wilson urged Thompson not to get involved in a slugging match and Palmer’s frustration grew, with the Highlander rushing his punches before being warned by the referee for holding.
The Springhill fighter was 3-1 ahead going into the final round but was dragged into the trenches.
However, he kept punching until the bell to claim a 6-3 win.
Delaney continued: “I am really happy for Big John because he has been a constant in the gym for almost eight years and always gives his all.
“He is in the twilight of his career and has now got himself a title.
“What pleased me the most is he boxed to the plan Gary and I worked on with him. With his big heart and bravery, he wins his first Scottish title after years of trying.”
He added “This should inspire young lads who don’t get instant success.
“If you keep working then you can finally reach your goals.”
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games 2014 super-heavyweight prospect Ross Henderson travelled south last weekend to spar with English professional Chris Burton.
Delaney said: “Chris has only lost about one fight in 16. There was some good sparring and Ross did well. I was very pleased for him and I noticed fighting against some of these more experienced fighters is making a difference. He is looking a lot sharper.
“Ross is 6ft 6ins tall but Chris is actually taller. That’s what he needs to be up against.”