essombaOur most recent trip to the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh promised to be one of the more fascinating. In addition to witnessing the progress of some of MGM Scotland’s finest prospects, the main event was one of huge potential. The aptly named “Collision Course” promised a lot and did not disappoint.

Local (for us) sensation, Commonwealth titleholder Thomas Essomba took on Iain “Baby Butch” Butcher in 10 rounds of Super Flyweight action (The bout was originally scheduled for 12 with Essomba’s belt on the line but the Scot failed to make weight and the format was rearranged). It’s disappointing that this continues to happen in boxing but full credit to all involved for getting it on regardless. Massive credit should also go to both men for an enthralling contest.

Essomba didn’t appear at his sharpest, however this may have been as much down to Butcher’s busy pace from the first to the last bell. There were many close rounds that could’ve gone either way and while I thought the 97-94 scorecard was a little generous to the home fighter, it genuinely was the sort of match that could’ve gone either way. Neither man really looked in trouble at any point and while Essomba landed some clean shots, Butcher was the aggressor for most of the contest and outworked the Cameroon native, especially in the later stages of each round.

Essomba’s promoter Phil Jeffries confirmed that his man will drop back down to his more natural flyweight division immediately. As for Butcher, he showed that he is a classy operator who can mix with the best the UK has to offer. There are some good names in and around the lower weight classes that could provide some tough tests, but on this solid showing, Butcher deserves to be mentioned in that company.

His trainer Sean Casey, was very in honest in his assessment that the best man won on the night and refused to make excuses. Refreshing to see in this age of “politics”.

Brian Forsyth continued in a similar vein to where he left off when we last saw him in action. He stalked his opponent throughout their 4 round Super-Middleweight contest to win comfortably 40-36. We mentioned last time Forsyth targets the body with rights and lefts and he did so again to good effect.

Curtis Gargano moved onto 0-17 as he lost to Scottish Light-Heavyweight prospect Tommy Philbin. Having seen Gargano in with similar prospects before, we noted in our live updates that should Philbin get the stoppage, he’d be sending out a statement. He didn’t get the stoppage but Gargano deserves credit for that. Philbin remained in control throughout and stuck to the task despite Gargano’s awkward style and showboating.

“Kid Caramel” Lewis “Bad-Boy” Benson continued his surge towards titles with a very tidy boxing performance against Fonz Alexander. While he was unable to continue his stoppage streak (2 from 2 when we’ve watched him) he boxed well, getting joy with the left hook in particular and was fully deserving of the 40-36 scorecard.

Unbeaten prospects Stephen Tiffney, Jason Easton, Thomas Dickson and Lee Redpath all advanced their records with comfortable points victories. Dickson in particular caught our eye as he shutout Youseff Al-Hamidi, a man who has fought a veritable who’s who of UK lightweights and never gives anyone an easy night.

Another teak tough journeyman, William Warburton, fought his 122nd professional bout. This landmark wasn’t celebrated with a victory however as talented welterweight John Thain of Edinburgh jabbed his way to victory over 6 rounds.

Once again MGM Scotland lived up to the banner with a thoroughly well run show and professionalism that few can rival. The future is very exciting north of the border with a clutch of burgeoning professionals at similar stages in their fledgling careers.

Review – MGM Scotland “Collision Course”