THERE was no split decision from ex-international referee Tony Reid last Friday night as he scored the fourth Hawick Amateur Boxing Society annual awards and presentation night a huge success - and that feeling was unanimous.
Held in the Lodge III, the assembled gathering of members and guests included no fewer than 17 international boxers as well as revered national coach Jock Thorburn.
Guest speaker Reid, a former member of the famous Buccleuch Amateur Boxing Club and now heavily involved in Leith Victoria, admitted it was a ‘privilege’ to be part of the occasion.
Representing the army for 15 years, Reid had a formidable record – he was divisional champion and runner-up in the army open final; he boxed 80 contests, winning 60 and was never knocked out or stopped during his career.
There was a simple reason for that and one which he passed on to the boxers from Hawick.
He said: “The fitness of the army boxing team was second to none. That’s why I never got stopped.
“To the young boxers, you will win a lot of contests if you come to the training nights every single time.
“Fitness is absolutely essential.”
And he paid tribute to those who had put in that effort and managed to represent their country, while urging aspiring champions to follow suit.
He added: “We’ve got 17 guys in this hall this evening who have been international boxers. That is amazing.
“To keep that going in the future is something everyone should be trying desperately hard to do.”
The wealth of talent was crystal clear in the awards presentation as 12 trophies were handed out to worthy recipients.
It was credit to the winners that every single one, to a man, heaped praise on the club’s coaches Den Bell, Alistair Laurie, Billy Clamp, Mark Huggan and head coach Billy Finn for their respective success.
There was also a passionate appeal from club chairman Eddie Brogan.
He said: “If you have received an award this evening and it’s a cold winter night later in the year, it’s pouring down with rain outside or you’re fired from your work, look at that trophy and realise why you got it. Get off your lazy backside and go training because without a doubt Billy Finn and others will be there giving up their free time for your benefit.”
The evening of great company with a lovely meal from Brydons Bakery and Restaurant, was complemented by excellent entertainers in the shape of John Tait, Drew Gibb and Dave Finnie, who sang the club song ‘In My Corner’.
With the serious part of the evening complete, the microphone was handed to comedian John Geoghan – and he didn’t disappoint.
The former Motherwell and Morton footballer had the hall in raptures with stories of his playing days and other hilarious tales.
That was to be the last round of another memorable evening, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.